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June 1968




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     As the reader may know, the North Vietnamese Government employs two major interconnected intelligence mechanisms against its enemies in North and South Viet-Nam and abroad. One of these mechanisms is a state security organization called in Vietnamese Bo Cong-An or Ministry of Public Security, sister or first cousin to the Soviet KGB and the communist Chinese Ministry of Public Security. The other mechanism is contained within the North Vietnamese military structure and includes a strategic intelligence function as well as a tactical military intelligence function.

     In all communist governments the structure of government and party organs is complex. The communist government in Viet-Nam is especially difficult to sort out because of the fiction embodied in the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet-Nam (NFLSVN) that the revolutionary movement south of the demarcation line is an independent organization, befriended and supported, but not directed by the government of North Viet-Nam.  In actual fact, the North Vietnamese Government arrogates to itself jurisdiction and authority over all of Viet-Nam, and all elements of the southern movement including the intelligence and security services, are subordinated by direct chains of command to bureaus, ministries, and party offices in Hanoi. The NFLSVN, officially formed in December 1960, is operated by the Lao-Dong Party from Hanoi in the Party's chain of command through the Proselyting Sections of the Party Committees (Viet Cong bases) at the echelons of COSVN (Central Office for South Viet-Nam), the regions, provinces, districts, cities, villages, and hamlets.





    A previous paper (The Viet Cong Security Service, issued in July 1967 and referred to as "TRAMPOLINE No. 1”)  [The Navy Department Library does not own this publication] summarizes our knowledge at the level of CONFIDENTIAL information on the Public Security Ministry's mechanism in South Viet-Nam. The present paper is the second in a series being prepared on the communist Vietnamese intelligence and security apparatus.  This monograph, like its companion - TRAMPOLINE No. 1 - is the product of a joint effort of United States civilian and military organizations in Saigon and Washington. It comprises a summary of information at the CONFIDENTIAL level from a broad range of sources, scholarly and journalistic as well as clandestine, historical as well as current. Obviously not all holdings or sources have been tapped, for reasons of security, and readers are invited to criticize, suggest amendments, and contribute additions through regular reporting channels with reference to specific paragraphs of this paper. Operators engaging the Cuc Nghien-Cuu in counterintelligence operations and officers responsible for protection against this service are invited to study Chapter VII, which contains some probably useful information on the CNC's modus operandi - how the spy carries out his operations in the field.






In order to obtain information on the early period of Viet-Minh intelligence activities, it was necessary to consult overt sources.  A selected bibliography of the sources consulted may be found at the end of this monograph. For the period following the establishment of the DRVN, overt sources, in the most part, were no longer adequate, and it was necessary to consult information provided by clandestine sources. Such sources included, among others, official Vietnamese and French services as well as interrogations of captured intelligence agents.  Much of this information, however, is vague, inconsistent, and inaccurate. No apparent attempt had been made to verify conflicting statements nor to refine overly general statements. The difficulties of the analyst are aggravated in part by erroneous language that reflects a lack of translators' familiarity with the subject matter and with accepted terminology. To the English-speaking analyst there appears to be a linguistic confusion among the Vietnamese themselves. Even the nomenclature of the strategic intelligence service and its predecessor organizations during the period from 1945 to 1957 is confused, and the present position of the service within the structure of the communist government of North Viet-Nam is impossible to designate with precision except by conjectural interpretation of the raw material.







Chapter I:            History 1941-1961                                                     
  The Formative Period  1941-1945      2             
                                   1945-1957 2
                                   1957-1961 17
Chapter II: The Position of the Cuc Nghien- 22
  Cuu within the DRVN Government  
  a.  CNC Relations with the Lao- 23
        Dong Party  
       1).  Unification Committee 25
            (Uy-Ban Thong-Nhat) of  
             the Lao-Dong Party  
             Central Committee  
        2).  Military Affairs Com- 25
             mittee (Quan-Uy) of  
             the Lao-Dong Party  
             Central Committee  
  b.  CNC Relations within the 25
       DRVN Government  
        1).  Ministry of Public 25
             Security (Bo Cong-An)  
         2).  Ministry of Foreign 27
               Affairs (Bo Ngoai-Giao)  
          3).  National Front for the 28
                Liberation of South  
                Viet-Nam (Mat Tran Dan-  
               Toc Gia-Phong Mien-Nam  






                                      4).  Ministry of Foreign                     28           
             Trade (Bo Ngoai-Thuong)  
      5).  Ministry of Communica- 28
             tions and Transporta-  
             tion (Bo Giao-Thong va  
  c.  CNC Relations within the 29
       Ministry of National De-  
       fense (Bo Quoc-Phong)  
       1).  General Political 29
             Directorate (Tong Cuc  
             Chinh-Tri Nhan-Dan)  
       2).  Committee for Liaison 31
             with the ICC  
      3).  General Training 31
            Directorate (Tong Cuc  
      4).  Military Regions 32
Chapter III: Mission and Targets 34
Chapter IV: Organization of Cuc Nghien-Cuu 40
  a.  Internal Intelligence 42
       Office (Phong Diep-Bao Noi)  
      1).  Communications Section 43
            (Ban Giao-Thong)  
      2).  Plans Section (Ban Ke- 44






                                          3).  Operational Control          46         
            Section (Ban Theo-Doi  
      4).  Training and Family 47
            Management Section  
            (Ban Quan-Ly Huan-  
            Luyen va Gia-Dinh)  
  b.  Foreign Intelligence Office 48
       (Phong Diep-Bao Ngoai)  
      1).  Communications Section 48
            (Ban Giao-Thong)  
      2).  Plans and Operational 49
            Control Section (Ban  
            Ke-Hoach va Theo-Doi  
      3).  Training and Manage- 49
            ment Section (Ban  
            Quan-Ly Huan-Luyen  
  c.  Combat Intelligence Office 51
       (Phong Trinh-Sat)  
  d.  Combat Intelligence Battal- 53
       ion (Tieu-Doan Trinh-Sat)  
  e.  Research Office (Phong 55
  f.  Technical Office (Phong Ky- 55
      1).  Documentation Section 56
            (Ban Giay)  






                                           2).  Radio Communications     56               
           Section (Ban Thu-Phat  
      3).  Radio Intercept Section 56
            (Ban Ma-Than Vo-Tuyen)  
      4).  Radio Training Section 57
            (Ban Huan-Luyen)  
      5).  Cryptography Section 57
            (Ban Co-Yen)  
  g.  Training Office (Phong 57
  h.  Administrative Section 57
      (Ban Hanh-Chanh)  
      1).  Security Group (To 58
      2).  Printing Group (To 58
      3).  Typing Group (To 58
      4).  Liaison Group (To 59
      5).  Vehicle Group (To Xe- 59
      6).  Housing Assistant (Tro- 60
            Ly Nha-Cua)  
      7).  Fiscal Assistant (Tro- 60
            Ly Tai-Chinh)  






                                       8).  Ordnance Assistant         61                     
             (Tro-Ly Vu-Khi)  
      9).  Personnel Assistant 61
            (Tro-Ly Quan-Luc)  
     10).  Supply Assistant 62
             (Tro-Ly Quan-Thu)  
     11).  Medical Assistant 62
             (Tro-Ly Y-Te)  
Chapter V: Location and Installation of 63
  Cuc Nghien-Cuu Headquarters  
Chapter VI: Personnel and Training 72
  1.  Personnel 72
  2.  Training 75
Chapter VII: Field Operations 81
  Introduction:  History, Geog-  
  raphy, Nomenclature  
      Contact Bases 86
      Known or Suspect CNC Con- 87
      tact Bases, Past or  
      Present, in South Viet-Nam  
      The Keystone Contact Base 95
      Agent Net Operations 101
      Communications 110
      Couriers 111






                                             Dead Drops                        112               
      Signals 112
      Secret Writing 113
      Radio 114
      Codes 114
      Microfilm 115
      Accomodation Addresses 115
      Concealment Devices 116
Chapter VIII: Staff Personnel of the Cuc 117
  Nghien-Cuu (CNC)  
Footnotes:   155
Bibliography:   179
Map I: Indochina - Communist "Dem 1
  ocractic Republic of Viet-Nam"  
  July 1952  
Map II: Administrative Divisions of 4
  North Viet-Nam, September 1967      
Map III: Administrative Divisions of 33
  North Viet-Nam, December 1967  
Map IV: Hanoi, North Viet-Nam 66
Map V: Ministry of National Defense 67
  Installation in the Cot Co  
  Compound, Hanoi  
  Legend 68






Map VI:                               Research Agency Installation       70           
  within Cot Co Compound  
  Legend 71
Map VII: Administrative Divisions of 80
  South Viet-Nam, October 1967  
Chart I: DRVN Intelligence and Security 12
  Community, 1948-1957  
Chart II: DRVN Intelligence and Security 14
  Community, 1948-1957  
Chart III: Party and Government Control 18
  of DRVN Intelligence and  
  Security Community, 1964-1968  
Chart IV: Development of DRVN Intelli- 21
  gence and Security Services  
Chart V: Position of Research Agency 24
  in Government and Party  
  Structure, 1963-Preseng  
Chart VI: Organization of Research 41
  Agency, 1963-Present  
Chart VII: Contact Base, North Viet-Nam 45
Chart VIII: Keystone Contact Base, South 96
Chart IX: Intelligence Flow Chart 100
Chart X: Purple Network 102




Indochina-Communist "Democratic Republic Of Vietnam"



HISTORY:  1941 - 1961

1.      Even more than with most matters in any communist controlled country, the intelligence and security services are subject to the immediate direction of the Communist Party. The Intelligence and security services of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam (DVRN) are no exception to this rule and, in light of Party control, it becomes evident that the establishment and development of the strategic intelligence service must be discussed in time of the growth of the communist movement under HO-CHI-MINH. (Hoof Chis Minh) in Southeast Asia.



2.      Detailed information concerning the Indochinese Communist Party1 before 1941 is at best rudimentary; information concerning the intelligence and security services during that period is practically non-existent. It is presumed that the Party possessed and used a security and counterintelligence mechanism as early as the Thirties.2 The first hint, however, of clandestine intelligence activity appears in 1941 after the Indochinese Communist Party held its 8th session, from 10 to 19 May 1941, at Ching His in Kwang Si Province of southern China. According to VO-NGUYEN-GIAP3 (Vox Nguyeen Giaps), the Party Central Committee realized that a new cycle of war and revolution had begun and “the situation in Indochina” had “advanced to the stage of national





Liberation”.  In 1940 and early 1941, local uprisings occurred in Bac-Sun, Nam-Ky, and Do-Luong areas.  To the Party these uprisings against the Japanese and colonial French authorities were “the signs of the national insurrection and the first steps of armed struggle of the Indochinese people”.4   The Party then formulated a program to organize propaganda and agitation among the People to gather all nationalist forces into the Viet-Minh,5   to build guerrilla bases, to set up revolutionary armed forces, and to make preparations for armed insurrection.  The task of implementing this program was given to VO-NGUYEN-GIAP.

3.     GIAP first set up his headquarters in the mountainous region of northern Tonkin, probably in the provinces of Cao-Bang. Then, starting with a nucleus of about thirty armed men, GIAP devoted his attention to stirring up guerilla activity inside Indochina.

4.       In order to support his guerilla activities in the field, GIAP formed a network of agents and informants throughout the whole area with concentration of coverage in the frontier provinces of Cao-Bang, Lang-Son, and Bac-Can. (See Map II.) GIAP spent the remainder of 1941 perfecting this intelligence system which, according to one source, quickly proved its effectiveness and became the only body in Kwang Si Province in southern China, where ICP headquarters was located, that was well-informed as to what was happening in Indochina.6

5.       The ability of GIAP’s intelligence system to obtain much needed intelligence on Indochina came to the attention of the military governor of Kwang Si, General CHANG FA-KUEI.7 This young war-lord, who as of this writing is reported to live in Hong Kong, had for some time been under pressure from the Chinese nationalist government (Kuomintang) to obtain




The Administrative Divisions of North Vietnam


information on activities in Indochina. For this reason, the governor was receptive to Viet-Minh offers to supply the Kuomintang army with intelligence on Japanese forces in Indochina and to build up, with Chinese aid, a local military force to be deployed against the Japanese. Although the general was anxious to receive whatever intelligence the Viet-Minh might obtain, he was reluctant to support a known communist organization. In fact, around the end of 1941, the Kuomintang arrested several Indochinese revolutionaries, including the one recognized only later as the most dangerous, NGUYEN-AI-QUOC (Nguyeenx Ais Quoocs),8 in hope that by removing Indochinese communist leaders, others less motivated by the communist cause would be persuaded to follow more willingly the Kuomintang line of thought. When it became apparent that none of the pro-Chinese nationalist elements among the Vietnamese living in south China was able to produce espionage, propaganda, and sabotage organization against Japanese and Vichy French in Indochina, the Chinese called a meeting to which every Vietnamese organization in exile was invited. The meeting took place in Liuchow from 4 October 1942 to the 16th.

6.   On the 10th of October, during the Liuchow meeting, a united front of all Vietnamese organizations in exile was announced and named the Viet-Nam Revolutionary League (Viet-Nam Cach-Mang Dong-Minh Hoi). One of the tasks of this organization was to set up an espionage apparatus in Indochina as well as paramilitary forces for cooperation with the Chinese army. For this purpose, the CHIANG KAI-SHEK government gave the head of the Dong-Minh Hoi, NGUYEN-HAI-THAN (Ngueenf Hais Thaanf), a monthly allowance of 100,000 non-communist dollars.

7.   The Dong- Minh Hoi did not succeed in fulfilling its task, primarily because its leadership





Remained as disorganized, quarrelsome, and incompetent after the forming of the Revolutionary League as it had been before. Towards the end of 1942, however, the Viet-Minh, who, although a member of the League, had chosen to remain politically and operationally independent, did offer to place their now quite efficient guerrilla intelligence network at the disposal of the Chinese if the latter would consent to release NGUYEN-AI-QUOC. Presumably at this time there was clandestine liaison between the Viet-Minh and the Chinese communist force of QUOC’s old comrade MAO TSE-TUNG as well as between MAO’s intelligence service and that commanded by GIAP. In any event the governor of Kwang Si accepted the Viet-Minh proposal, but knowing that the Kuomintang would not do business with a well-known communist, suggested QUOC change his name. In February 1943,9 QUOC was released and with his new name, HO-CHI-MINH, was presented as a nationalist guerilla leader and made head of Dong-Minh Hoi.10 According to Phillipe Devilliers, one of the best French observers of the Indochina scene and a former PIO in the French Army in Indochina, “the underground contacts of the communists were already well organized, and the Viet-Minh was able to give satisfaction to the Chinese.” Devillers goes on to state that “if their reports were not always exact, they had the merit of being numerous, which made a good impression.”11 Viet-Minh intelligence, although overshadowed by the Free French networks,12 did well, as GIAP’s influence increased and his agents became more experienced. When information produced by the Viet-Minh began flowing to Chungking, the Dong-Minh Hoi was allowed facilities at a camp near Liuchow to train agents, guerrillas and saboteurs, and a certain amount of money, stores, and arms were allocated to further these activities.

1.      On 28 March 1944, the Viet Nam Revolutionary League declared itself to be the provisional





Government of Viet Nam. In this pretension, the League was encouraged and supported by CHIANG KAI-SHEK, who wanted a puppet government to install for the time when CHIANG’s Kuomintang should finally emerge over MAO’s communists and the Japanese as the ruling government in China. In his guise of a national revolutionary leader, HO-CHI-MINH became a member of the provisional government of Viet Nam and, in October 1944, moved his headquarters to the mountainous region of Thai-Nguyen Province. There he instructed VO-NGUYEN-GIAP to set about organizing a resistance movement directed against the French and modelled after MAO TSE-TUNG’s Chinese communist guerilla organization. This new element bore two semi-public labels: those of its units that engaged in agitation, propaganda, proselyting, etc., were called the “Armed Propaganda Brigade for the Liberation of Viet-Nam,” while those which engaged primarily in armed combat and terror were called “the National Salvation (Self-Defense)” units. The Intelligence service commanded by GIAP, which presumably used all guerilla elements for cover, had no label for display to the outside world, or none of which there is available record.

9.  By early 1945, the Viet-Minh guerrilla movement had spread throughout the area of northern Tonkin and was in control of a large portion of that area except for the larger villages and towns where the French maintained control. As the guerilla movement expanded its area of operations the need for intelligence, particularly enemy (French and Japanese) order of battle increased. Details are unfortunately lacking on the structure of the intelligence service as well as of HQ’s political organs during this period.

10.  On 9 March 1945 as the Allied forces in Europe were crossing the Rhine into Germany, the





Japanese declared the independence of Viet Nam and ordered the interment of all French officials in Indochina. As a result of these wholesale arrests, the Free French intelligence networks were dissolved and ceased to be a source of information to the Allies (American and Chinese forces) on activities in Indochina. Consequently, the Allies were forced to turn to the Viet-Minh guerilla networks which had continued to send reports to the Chinese.

11.  Apparently at this time the American OSS representatives in Chungking took an interest in the HO-CHI-MINH organization. In July 1945, a team of American instructors was dropped by parachute near his headquarters in Thai-Nguyen Province. The Americans also supplied the Viet-Minh with radio transmitters, small arms, and a wealth of other equipment designed for guerrilla use. Although American contact with the Viet-Minh started under favorable conditions, these relations with the Viet-Minh cooled considerably as Viet-Minh's communist character became more evident.

12. The result of this support from his future enemies and of the Japanese surrender was that by August HO-CHI-MINH felt strong enough to cut all ties with the Kuomintang sponsored Provisional Government and to announce the formation of the "Viet-Nam People's Liberation Committee," of which he was the head.  On 19 August, HO-CHI-MINH took control from Emperor BAO-DAI and declared the establishment of the Provisional Government of Viet-Nam, pending the founding of an official government.

3.      On 2 September 1945, HO-CHI-MINH proclaimed the "Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam," severed all links with France, and repudiated all French-made treaties and agreements. A Cabinet was formed of which at least eight members were positively identified





as members of the Indochinese Communist Party. VO­NGUYEN-GIAP became Minister of Interior thus gaining control of the police and security forces.      Although GIAP did not remain in the Cabinet set up by the National Assembly in March 1946, he did remain in the Government as commander-in-chief of the People's Army of Viet-Nam (PAVN). He was also made chairman of the National Resistance Committee, set up in March 1946, which in fact absorbed most of the tasks of the Ministry of National Defense and thereby reduced the latter's role to one of supply and procurement. GIAP's position permitted him to take a free hand in the arming and organizing of the Viet-Minh armed forces,13 including the intelligence services that supported military operations against the French.

1.      Up to this time, the Vietnamese communists had functioned as a clandestine organization. With the Japanese declaration of Vietnamese independence, the communist movement entered into an overt period, and represented itself as the legally constituted government of an independent country. When hostilities between the Viet-Minh and the French came to a head in December 1946, the DRVN government was forced to withdraw from Hanoi and to set up operations in the Viet-Bac where it again became a clandestine mechanism. This move, however, did not change the Viet-Minh's projection of HO-CHI-MINH's underground bureaucracy as the legitimate government of Viet Nam.

2.      During the absence of HO-CHI-MINH at the Fontainebleau Conference from July to September 1946, GIAP took over the Ministry of Interior while its incumbent, HUYNH-THUC-KHANG, became acting president of the DRVN. GIAP also took over a newly created Army Commissariat,14 in effect, an embryonic general staff. There existed, apparently within the Army Commissariat, an intelligence element called





Phong Tinh-Bao or Intelligence Office. This organization appears to have been no more than a military reconnaissance formation responsible for obtaining enemy (French) order of battle. The headquarters element comprised three components: administration, research, and communications, and was placed under the leadership of HOANG-MINH DAO (Hoangf Min Dao), who reportedly became chief in 1960 of the Military Intelligence Section of the Military Affairs section of COSVN but whose whereabouts at present writing are unknown. Operational field units existed in the areas not under French or Chinese Nationalist control; e.g., Hanoi, Haiphong, Hai-Duong, Nam-Dinh, Hon-Gay, and Gia-Lam. Because these units lacked operational experience and were unsure of their exact role, the efficiency of this early intelligence service was poor.

16.  The Phong Tinh-Bao was probably the fore­runner of the "Central Reconnaissance Section" mentioned by one non-journalist source as being responsible to the Ministry of National Defense. This section, charged with the collection of tactical intelligence, may have been only a headquarters staff since there appears to have been no chain of command between it and the reconnaissance units of military elements in the field.

17.  Sometime during the early days of the DRVN, reportedly in 1945, TRAN-HIEU (Traanf Hieeuj had been charged with setting up a civilian intelligence service. A member of the Indochinese Communist Party since 1930, he had been deported in 1936 from Indochina to Madagascar, where he remained until released by the Allied forces sometime before 1943. In 1945 HIEU was given intelligence training by OSS and later dropped into Ha-Dong Province. In addition to working for OSS, he spent a good deal of time helping to organize the Viet-Minh intelligence service in the provinces of Ha-Dong, Son-Tay, and





Ninh-Binh. It is not clear from available information whether this was done under OSS direction or not. By 1945, TRAN-HIEU appears to have entered the Directorate General of Public Security (Nha Tong Giam-Doc Cong-An), a component of the Ministry of Interior,15 where he may have been instrumental in setting up the Special Affairs Section (Bo Phan Dac Vu), charged with counterintelligence and general intelligence operations, of which he became the head. Although there were Special Affairs units at city and province levels, there appears to have been no definite organizational pattern nor strict chain of command between headquarters and the various echelons. (See Chart I.)

18.  Sometime in 1949, upon the advice of Chinese communist advisors (according to unconfirmed information) the intelligence function of the Special Affairs Section (later called the Political Bureau or Political Protection Bureau) was transferred from the Public Security Directorate General to the Prime Minister's Office, where an organization called the Nha Lien-Lac or Liaison Directorate was create to serve the "strategic policy" needs of the Viet-Minh by the collection of domestic and foreign intelligence.  The counterintelligence function, including aggressive operations against enemy intelligence organizations and the maintenance of central CI records, appears to have remained with the appropriate element of the Directorate General of Public Security. (See Chart II.)

19.  The newly formed strategic service was apparently afflicted by a lack of operational know­ how and a continual conflict among security, military intelligence, and civilian intelligence personnel. As a result, the new service was dissolved in 1950 and its functions returned to the Directorate General of Public Security. Its personnel were divided




DRVN Intelligence and Security Community Before 1948


between Public Security and military intelligence. In early 1951, the service was re-established ·as a separate entity again under TRAN-HIEU, who reported directly to the Prime Minister's Office.16 Party direction was apparently exercised through PHAM-VAN­DONG, at that time Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the Politbureau of the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee.

20. The geographic location of the headquarters before 1954 was in Dai-Tu District, Thai­ Nguyen Province (present day Bae-Thai Province), but was organized to move whenever the Prime Minister moved. Each province had its own Liaison Office except certain provinces such as Hon-Gay and Quan­Yen, which had a combined office. The Thanh-Hoa office was responsible for all of the area south of Hue. The northern provinces, which were by that time under Viet Minh control, were under the jurisdiction of Public Security rather than the Liaison Directorate. Later, a number of personnel from the Liaison Directorate were assigned to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Communist China, and Hong Kong. After July 1954, the Liaison Directorate took advantage of the southward refugee movement as a means of in filtering agent personnel into the south, where they were assigned to carry out long-range high-level operations.

21.  At apparently the same time in 1949 that the Special Affairs Section was transferred out of the Directorate General of Public Security, the Reconnaissance Section in the Ministry of National Defense was placed within the PAVN General Staff where it became known as the Cuc Quan-Bao (Cucj Quaan Baos) - Military Intelligence Agency - or, following French usage, Cuc Hai (Cucj Hai) – Second Bureau. The various reconnaissance units at lower echelons were designated as Military Intelligence




DRVN Intelligence And Security Community 1948 - 1957


Sections or Subsections depending upon whether they were at the region or province level. During the First Indochina War (or “Resistance War” as the Vietnamese communists call the period between 1945 and 21 July 1954), the Military Intelligence Agency was unable to provide sufficient technical guidance to field units because there was a lack of signal and logistical communications between the various operational areas.

22.  In about January 1950, the Viet-Minh Interzones (see Map I for delineation of communist Interzones) received an order from the central authorities to divide intelligence cadre into two categories. Those having fair technical qualifications and equivalent of a high school education were placed under the jurisdiction of the Liaison Directorate and assigned to the strategic intelligence effort. Those having lesser technical qualifications and only elementary educational background were integrated into military intelligence units assigned to the tactical intelligence units assigned to the tactical intelligence collection effort. Priority in the reassignment of personnel was given to the strategic intelligence branch. The order was carried out bay all interzones with the exception of the Nam-Bo Region (see Map I), where it was impossible because of a lack of operational forces and lines of communications with headquarters in Hanoi. After the relocation of personnel both the Military Intelligence Agency and the Liaison Directorate established a fairly efficient chain of command and began issuing technical directives to their respective subordinate field echelons.

23.  After the signing of the Geneva Agreements, the Liaison Directorate had agent and agent handler personnel in both north and south Viet-Nam and gave particular attention to the dispatching of additional field personnel to South Viet-Nam. All





communist military units operating in the south, including military intelligence personnel, on the other hand, were to return to North Viet-Nam in accordance with the Geneva Agreement. The whole staff of the Nam-Bo Military Intelligence Section accordingly moved to the DRVN. The Fourth and Fifth Interzones, however, decided on their own initiative to leave behind a number of military intelligence personnel and await orders from Hanoi to set up intelligence opera­tions. The majority of military intelligence personnel who returned to the north under the provisions of the Geneva Agreement was not integrated into the parent service, and according to one source, neither the military intelligence service nor the Liaison Directorate paid any attention to the personnel arriving in the north. This attitude on the part of headquarters is said to have caused much dissatisfaction, but there is no additional detail as to how serious such dissatisfaction may have been nor what effect, if any, it may have had upon the activities of the intelligence services.

24.  As the Liaison Directorate became more and more overburdened with responsibilities created by new requirements, specially requirements generated by expanding foreign relations, the increase in work brought about a pressing need for additional personnel and facilities. The responsibilities of the Military Intelligence Agency, on the other hand, diminished to the point where it had nothing more to do than to train field reconnaissance units. To rectify an unsatisfactory situation, DRVN authorities decided, possibly as early as 1955,17 to merge the civilian and military intelligence organizations, thereby bringing about a concentration of personnel, facilities, intelligence, and guidance, with a concomitant reduction of budgetary needs. Although the merger took place at headquarters level, no integration took place at a lower





level. Subordinate echelons of the former Military Intelligence Agency were therefore unaffected by the change.

1957 - 1961

25.  The reorganized intelligence service was made directly subordinate to the PAVN General Staff18 and was given the cover name Cuc Nghien-Cuu (Cucj Nghien Cuus) - Research Agency (CNC); however, more often than not, the Vietnamese still refer to it as the Cuc Tinh-Bao19 (Cucj Tinhf Baos} – Intelligence Agency (CTB). By 1957, the CNC was the single DRVN agency charged with the collection and analysis of strategic and tactical intelligence. The veteran organizer and intelligence director, TRAN-HIEU, was named chief of the CNC and in August 1957, Senior Colonel LE-TRONG-NGHIA (Lee Trongj Nghiax) was appointed HIEU's deputy. (See Charts III and IV) Colonel NGHIA, a member of the Communist Party since 1935, was in 1945 secretary to General VO-NGUYEN-GIAP. He later served as chief of Military Intelligence in 1948 and after a year as Executive Secretary in the PAVN High Command, was again appointed chief of the Cuc Quan-Bao and remained in that position until 1957.

26.  It is the opinion of one well-informed source that as a result of combining the Liaison Directorate and the Military Intelligence Agency there was a breakdown of compartmentation. This weakening of security made it possible for South Vietnamese authorities to identify and capture many DVRN directed intelligence agents operating in South Viet Nam, and we have records showing that several hundred agents and support personnel (couriers, safe-house keepers, radio operators, etc.) were arrested during the years between 1958 and 1961. By that time virtually all CNC activities in South Viet-Nam came to a standstill. Another disadvantage of the merger,




Party and Government Control of DRVN Intelligence and Security Community 1964-1968


according to the same source, was the subordination of the strategic intelligence service, formerly controlled by the Prime Minister’s Office, to the PAVN General Staff in the Ministry of National Defense. Its authority and status was now lessened and its activity impeded by bureaucratic supervision, while its personnel lost much of the fervor they had maintained in their former independent, young, and elite service. According to this source, these problems were not paralyzing because the CNC, with other elements of the Government, was subject to Communist Party control, and no one dared openly to criticize the merger of the two intelligence services.

27. Distributed by the compromise of the CNC’s activities in South Viet Nam, the government removed TRAN-HIEU as director and reassigned him as deputy chairman of the People’s Supreme Organ of Control. Concurrently, on the party side, he became secretary of the Central Agencies Party Committee. Colonel NGHIA was appointed in November 1961 as HIEU’s successor.

28. Unconfirmed information dated 1959 indicates that, at the time of the merger, Lt. General VAN-TIEN-DUNG, PAVN Chief of Staff, became responsible to the Party Central Committee for intelligence matters. There is also an indication that there may have been (and may still be) a high-level group responsible to the Party for intelligence matters. This group reportedly included as member’s General VO-NGUYEN-GIAP, Commander-in-Chief, PAVN; Lt. General VAN-TIEN-DUNG, PAVN Chief of Staff; PHAM-VAN-DONG, Prime Minister; NGUYEN-CHI-Thanh, then head of the PAVN High Command Political Directorate, and TRUONG-CHINH, who, as well as all of the above, is a member of the Politbureau of the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee. The implication is that this group served as the body for the coordination of DVRN





Intelligence activities in North and South Viet-Nam and abroad.

29.  At this point, about two years after the Politbureau of the Lao-Dong Party in Hanoi had decided to renew the armed offensive against the Republic of Viet Nam, the Vietnamese communists’ clandestine intelligence organization may be said to have attained maturity. Although compromises and catastrophes continued to occur during succeeding years, the Cuc Nghien-Cuu produced an increasing number of well-placed agents, through an increasingly effective communications system. The functions and organization of the service after 1961 are described in subsequent chapters.



Development of the DRVN Intelligence and Security Services





1.  Official directives and other such issuances by the DRVN Government and by the Lao- Dong Party establishing the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, or Research Agency, as the North Vietnamese strategic intelligence service, do not seem to be available to western intelligence, although such documents must certainly exist. Similar documents relating to CNC's predecessor organizations, the Cuc Quan-Bao and the Nha Lien-Lac are equally unavailable.

2.  Nothing is known about the philosophy underlying the creation of the DRVN intelligence collection apparatus nor about the extent to which the North Vietnamese were influenced by Soviet Russia or by the communist Chinese.

3.  As a result of this lack of basic information, there is an almost complete blank as to the functions the CNC carries out at the national level. For example, does the CNC act as the central repository for all intelligence produced by other components of the government? Do its functions include the evaluation of such intelligence for the purpose of producing national intelligence estimates for dissemination to the policy making components of the government and the Party?  What are the CNC 's dissemination functions, within the government and the Party?  Supporting documentation is, unfortunately, almost totally lacking.





4.  What information is at hand on CNC headquarters in Hanoi appears mainly in the interrogations of some three or four captured CNC officers. From these interrogations it has been possible to gain some appreciation, albeit incomplete, of the CNC 's relations with the Lao-Dong Party, the DRVN Government, and with components of the Ministry of National Defense. (See Chart V)

a.    CNC Relations with the Lao-Dong Party

 The CNC, a national defense agency subordinate to the PAVN General Staff has primary responsibility of keeping the PAVN High Command informed as to the capabilities and intentions of the Free World Armed Forces in South Viet-Nam. Through its own intelligence operations in South Viet-Nam and other countries abroad, it also collects positive intelligence - economic, military, and, political - which it disseminates through the military chain of command in the DRVN to the Lao-Dong Party structure, i.e., the Unification Committee, the Military Affairs Committee, and finally to the Politbureau and the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee. Although such intelligence may originate with many sources, there is no indication that the CNC has the last word in evaluating intelligence. It is more than likely that CNC-produced intelligence is reviewed at a higher level, perhaps by an unidentified group within the Politbureau, in conjunction with other intelligence coming, for example, from the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Office for South Viet-Nam (COSVN) (through the Unification Committee), the Ministry of Public Security (from its operations bases, the An-Ninh sections, at the party echelons in the DRVN as well as in South Viet-Nam) , and from the General Political Directorate (through the Military Affairs Committee). This theory is perhaps supported by the fact that the PAVN Chief of Staff, LTG VAN-TIEN­ DUNG (Vawn Tieens Zungx), and the Minister of Public




Position of Research Agency in Government and Party Structure


Security, TRAN-QUOC-HOAN (Traanf Quoocs Hoanf), are both alternate members of the Politbureau (and are also members of the Military Affairs Committee) and may sit in such group as is postulated above.

1).    Unification Committee (Uy-Ban Thong-Nhat) of the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee

Inasmuch as no chain of command exists between the military intelligence components of the party structure in South Viet-Nam and CNC headquarters, such intelligence requirements as the CNC may wish to levy on military intelligence collection units in the south are passed through the Unification Committee for forwarding to COSVN.20 Coordination is also apparently accomplished at this level before a CNC agent in the south can contact a local party element.  Except upon very rare occasions, an agent under CNC control in the south is strictly forbidden to have contact with local party elements.  Should an agent find it necessary to contact a local party element, he must first obtain permission from CNC headquarters.

2).   Military Affairs Committee (Quan-Uy) of the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee

Because of the subordinate of the military establishment to the Military Affairs Committee, 21 it is presumed that some contact exists between the Cuo Nghien-Cuu and the Committee; however, there is no information available to date describing relations between these two components.

b.  CNC Relations within the DRVN Government

1).  Ministry of Public Security (Bo Cong-An)

By very rough analogy, the relation of CNC with the Bo Cong-An is like that of the Soviet GRU with the KGB.  The Ministry of Public Security is the executive organ for maintaining internal security.






public order, and Party control throughout Viet-Nam, North and South.  It is the DRVN’s State Security Service, as such is the counterespionage organ for the government-Party system in both the officially secured area called North Viet-Nam and the mixture of communist-secured, contested and Allied-invested areas called South Viet-Nam.22  Its additional functions in North Viet-Nam and Viet Cong controlled territory include traffic control, border control, administration of prisons, communications security, population census, commando and razzia operations, executions (i.e., assassinations), etc.  Its functional offices, called Security Sections (An-Ninh), exist in every Party Committee from the national to village levels and are controlled through an exclusive vertical command channel.

Since the Ministry of Public Security employs agent, double agent and informal mechanisms, it obviously finds itself in competition with the CNC, at least in its southern operations.  We do not know how coordination is affected between the two services, but until evidence is received to the contrary we must believe that the coordination is efficient and free from intragovernmental or intraparty friction.  According to one well informed source, the CNC receives assistance and cooperation of security elements at all levels.  Such assistance may include cover for CNC contact stations located in North Viet-Nam.

It is reasonable to presume from Soviet and Chinese analogies that the Ministry of Public Security may perform a covert function in the ranks of the army.  The actual status of Cong-An operatives in military units is unknown; they can be expected to have had prior military service to operate clandestine informant channels to a central security office.  The purpose of such covert operations is doubtless to provide an independent check on the loyalty of members of the army.





This convert control function is in addition to “normal” party control within the military establishment through the party’s network of political officers (Chinh-tri-vien) directly responsible to the party through the party committees in all units, and through the duality of political and military responsibility existing in the PAVN High Command.  (Of paragraph c below.)

Although there is no statement to the effect that the Ministry of Public Security has covert agents within the CNC for the purposes described above, it may be presumed that such agents exist within the CNC.  So far as is known, the CNC does not have counterintelligence or security functions of its own.24

As stated earlier, the Ministry of Public Security is responsible for security of communications within the DVRN government and the Lao-Dong Party.  The signal element of the PAVN General Staff appears responsible for assigning radio frequencies to staff and operational elements in the Ministry of National Defense.  Undoubtedly the CNC is included.  The CNC in turn assigns radio frequencies to the Ministry of Public Security.

2).  Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bo Ngoai-Giaco)

Although there is no supporting information, it is believed that the CNC may disseminate intelligence to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There are indications that the Ministry assists the CNC by providing official cover for those CNC intelligence officers assigned abroad.  For example, it is reported that at least two members of the DRVN Commercial Mission in Paris are or are suspected of being CNC officers.  They are both under diplomatic cover.  It is known that the CNC has assigned an





undetermined number of its personnel to the DRVN Embassy in Vientiana, Laos.  Through the Ministry’s assistance, the CNC is able to assign one or more of its personnel to reception committees organized to welcome official foreign guests and delegations.25

3).  National Front for the Liberation of South Viet-Nam (Mat-Tran Dan-Toc Gia-Phong Mien-Nam Viet-nam)

The NFLSVN is ostensibly not an organ of the DRVN, it pretends to be an independent political organization comprising residents of South Viet-Nam who are in revolt against the Allied-sponsored government and who received sympathy and support from North Viet-nam.  Actually the NFLSF is a front organization created and directed by the Unification Committee of the Lao-Dong Party in Hanoi.  The Front’s activities in South Viet-Nam are directed through the Proselyting Sections of the Party Committees at each echelon from COSVN down to village.  Its representations abroad are controlled through the Party command channel.  Although concrete evidence is not available to this study, it may be presumed that the offices of the NFLSV abroad provide cover to the CNC.25

4).  Ministry of Foreign Trade (Bo Ngoai-Thuong)

The Ministry of Foreign Trade cooperates with the CNC in much the same manner as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by permitting the CNC to assign its personnel to DRVN trade missions abroad or to committees receiving foreign trade delegations in North Viet-Nam.

5).  Ministry of Communications and Transportation (Bo Giao-Thong va Van-Tai)

Several reports indicate that the CNC maintains contact with this Ministry’s Maritime Transportation Service (Nghiep-Doan Van-Tai Song Bien) and 





division subordinate to the latter called the Shipping Agency (Dai-Ly Tau-Bien).  Available information indicates the CNC may assign its own personnel to certain positions to handle activities concerned with CNC operations.  According to a well informed source, the deputy chief of the Shipping Agency in 1960 was a CNC employee.

The Shipping Agency has a staff of about thirty people and an equal number located in the field.  The agency is in charge of foreign trade shipping, port activities, and ship clearances.  In addition to its overt functions, the agency may also serve as a cover organization for CNC boat units used to transport agent personnel, classified documents, and supplies to and from South Viet-Nam.  Several such boat units are located in Nghe-An, Ha-Tinh, and Quang-Binh Provinces, as well as at Vinh-Linh in the Vinh-Linh Special Zone, and quite possible in Hai-Phong.  Available information gives neither a clear nor a detailed description of how the CNC communicates with the boat units.  CNC headquarters appears communicate directly with boat units located at Vinh-Linh.

c.       CNC Relations with the Ministry of National Defense (Bo Quoc-Phong)

1). The General Political Directorate (Tong Cuo Chinh-Tri Nhan-Dan)

As the principal agency of the Lao-Dong Party and the Military Affairs Committee, the General Political Directorate is responsible for communist and military justice throughout the armed forces.  Its primary concern is the inculcation of communist ideology in all ranks and the suppression of subversion.  It is also charged with maintaining training standards, sustaining morale, and improving political and military discipline.





The General Political Directorate exercises its authority by means of two separate channels – through the other military directorates and through direct channels to party organs of the military units.  It appears that the General Political Directorate, supervises the execution of party projects by other military directorates, including the General Staff, and does not merely coordinate through these directorates.  Direct channels apparently exist within the CNC and extend from the headquarters level to the political officer assigned to a contact base.  A chart of such a base is to be found at page 45.

The Organization bureau in the General Political Directorate keeps the records of all officers as well as those of all party members in the army, and screens promotions of all military officers, including those military officers assigned to the CNC.

The Information and Training Bureau formulates plans for political indoctrination in the army training programs and supervises the execution of these plans.  Directorate (also called “Education Management Bureau”) mass meeting once every two weeks of all military and civilian personnel of the Cot Co Compound (headquarters area of the Ministry of National Defense and the Cuc Nghien-Cuu) in either the club or stadium.  The CNC attended these gatherings, during which they received South Viet-Nam, etc.

The CNC also maintains contact with other offices in the General Political Directorate such as the Military Security Bureau (Cuc Bao-Ve) - responsible for military personnel security and for conducting counterintelligence activities within the armed forces – and with the Enemy Proselyting Bureau (Cuc Binh-Van) or, as it might be more appropriately called, the Enemy





Psychological Warfare Bureau.  The mission of this latter organization is to destroy the effectiveness of the enemy military and civil services by inducting desertions and defections and especially by recruiting penetration agents to set up espionage nets within the target service or to commit acts of sabotage.  Information obtained through its operations is passed to the CNC.  For example, the Bureau supplies the CNC with information concerning relatives of North Vietnamese servicemen who are serving in the South Vietnamese armed forces or government offices and who, intelligence agents or informants.

2).  Committee for Liaison with the ICC (International commission for Supervision and Control)

This subordinate committee of the PAVN General Staff is in charge of maintaining contact with the ICC.  Information on South Viet-Nam provided by the ICC, particularly by the Polish representative, is passed to the CNC.

3).  General Training Directorate (Tong Cuc Huan-Luyen)

The General Training Directorate establishes an overall military training program to include specialized training plans, training manuals, and instruction aids, and the establishment of training doctrine.  It also exercises staff supervision over all army schools, the training installations of the Military Regions and the training programs of the various signal, intelligence, engineer, medical, etc.

There are numerous examples that the CNC works closely with the General Training Directorate particularly in the preparation of training Directorate and instruction in the fields of combat intelligence, cryptography, and special missions (dac-cong).  One





captured intelligence source indicated that during special operations training at the Xuan-Mai School in Ha-Dong Province, two groups of CNC personnel gave lectures on polices of socialism, the general situation in North and South Viet-Nam, and the mission of the military.

4).  Military Regions (Quan-Khu)

Information from a source in late 1961 indicates there are five military regions in North Viet-Nam: Military Regions Tay-Bac, Viet-Bac, Dong-Bac, 3, and 4.  Hanoi and Vinh-Linh are located within two Special Military Regions.  All these military regions are directly subordinate to the PAVN High Command.  The CNC has been described as cooperating with the various military regions in the organization, operation, and training of the various military intelligence and combat intelligence units.  As a subordinate of the PAVN Chief of General Staff, the CNC reports to the latter on military intelligence activities conducted throughout North Viet-Nam.

Relations between the CNC and the military regions and military intelligence elements in South Viet-Nam is much less clear.  It is quite evident that the CNC has no command function in relation to military intelligence in the south.  Military intelligence is wholly responsible to the command to which it is assigned.  There are indications, however, that before a campaign, for example, the Military Intelligence Section in COSVN was always well aware of allied operations.  One source claimed that such intelligence was usually supplied by the Hanoi Intelligence Department (no doubt the Cuc Nghien-Cuu) as well as by other military intelligence units operating in South Viet-Nam.  The same source claimed that as of August 1967 almost 85 percent of all planned bombing operations conducted by American B-52’s was known in advance by the Hanoi Military Intelligence Department.26



North Viet-Nam Administrative Divisions




1.  The principal mission of the North Vietnamese strategic intelligence service is the collection, use, and dissemination of intelligence on those countries whose activities are inimical to the national security of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.  The primary targets of the CNC’s clandestine collection effort are those countries, particularly South Viet-Nam and the DRVN-directed apparatus in South Viet-Nam.  As Chapter IV operations in South Viet-Nam and operations abroad by assigning the former to its internal office, the latter to an external office.  Not surprisingly, we have more information concerning the former, where battlefield conditions exist, than the latter.

2. Although the extent of CNC’s world-wide coverage is not known, we presume that the CNC is interested in the activity of any foreign government that might influence the internal security or international position of the DRVN.  The bases outside of Southeast Asia from which the CNC operates against such governments are primarily in France, Algeria, and Cuba; the targets of these external bases are not identified to us, nor do we know whether their missions are primarily military or political.  It is presumed that the targets are generally the non-communist countries and that the missions include collection of political information bearing on United States policy and foreign support to that policy as well as military information bearing on United States action and foreign support of that action.




3.  Our knowledge of the missions and targets of the CNC in Laos and Cambodia is incomplete, and our speculation is complicated by a lack of clarity on the status of Laos and Cambodia in the doctrine of the Lao-Dong Party.  Since historically the Communist Party of Indochina claimed revolutionary jurisdiction over Viet-Nam, Laos, and Cambodia, and at present, there are substantial military and guerilla forces deployed through Laos and investing the border areas of Cambodia, we may expect the entire region to be handled as a single operating area of the internal office of the CNC and to contain contact bases under guerilla or non-official cover (see Chapter VII below) targeted against South Vietnamese and Allied military and political activity in South Vietnamese.  But since Vientiane and Phom Penh also contain foreign diplomatic installations presenting the same order of targets as more distant areas, we also expect to find (and do find) CNC bases there under official cover.

4.  In South Viet-Nam, as well probably as in Laos and Cambodia, the CNC does not appear to emphasize collection of tactical military information, since that mission is fulfilled by the military intelligence apparatus.  The fact, however, that the CNC has a Combat Intelligence Office as its headquarters and a Combat Intelligence Battalion in the DVRN indicates a possibly deeper involvement in military intelligence than available information substantiates.  Possibly, as suggested by information set forth in Chapter IV below, the CNC’s role in the collecting military intelligence units.  In any event, presently available military intelligence function.

5.  Although a small number of CNC agent operations have been directed against intelligence and security agencies in South Viet-Nam, the CNC does not have a counterintelligence responsibility.





Such targets the CNC may develop are targets of opportunity.  The government agency charged with the responsibility for counterintelligence in the DRVN as well as South Viet-Nam (and possibly Laos and Cambodia) is the Political Service (Vu Chinh-Tri) or, as it is also known, the Research Service (Vu Nghien-Cuu) of the Ministry of Public Security.27

6.  The CNC does not appear to have any responsibility for propaganda, sabotage, or terrorist activities.  These activities are directed by party and military elements in North and South Viet-Nam.  The CNC does, however, seem to be responsible for part of the training of special operations (Dac-Cong) personnel who are later assigned to military commands, to which they remain totally responsible.28

7.  In summary form, the CNC’s general mission and targets are:

a.  The penetration of United States diplomatic, official, and military installation and the acquisition of documents and information of strategic value;

b. The penetration of South Viet-Nam official and military installations and the acquisition of documents and information of strategic value;

c.  The identification of key South Vietnamese government and military personnel and of persons with access to such personnel;

d. The identification of key United States personnel and of persons with access to them;

e. The acquisition of information on United States, allied, and South Vietnamese shipping to and from South Viet-Nam;




        f. The acquisition on South Vietnamese heavy and light industry, current and planned production, labor force, equipment, etc.;

        g. The acquisition of information on South Vietnamese agricultural developments, equipment, United States assistance, etc.;

        h. The acquisition of information on South Vietnamese communications and transportation networks, equipment, capacities, etc., and

        i.  The acquisition of information on the progress of South Vietnamese education, medical, and welfare programs and their effect upon the people’s morale and support of the South Vietnamese government.

8. As examples of the CNC’s efforts to fulfill its intelligence mission, the following are some of the specific intelligence missions assigned to CNC personnel operating in South Viet-Nam:

    a. To develop means to contact a senior South Vietnamese army officer whose immediate family were high ranking officers in the North Vietnamese army.  This officer had delayed supporting the military leaders involved in the overthrow of the Diem regime.  For this reason, apparently, the CNC susceptible to recruitment as a source of information.

    b.  To attempt the recruitment of a senior officer in a South Vietnamese security service.  His wife’s relatives were still living in North Viet-Nam and were to be exploited in order to set up a contact with the target.

    c. To penetrate American military and civilian installations through interpreters and translators who have been taught English and were sent south to obtain employment with the Americans.



Subsequent intelligence operations would depend upon the position obtained.

    a. To establish a radio base for communication with CNC headquarters and the transmission of the intelligence product of agent networks

    b. To assume control of an existing agent not which included a penetration of a South Vietnamese corps command headquarters.

    c. To assume control of an existing agent net which included a penetration of South Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    d. To assume control of an existing agent net which included a penetration of the South Vietnamese Army’s Office of the Inspector General.

    e. To establish a safe house for CNC personnel in transit to their operational target areas.

    f.  To serve as a courier for an agent handler and CNC headquarters for the transmission of intelligence information, documents, etc.

    g. To serve as a radio operator and assistant agent handler for an established agent net.

    h. To recontact CNC personnel who had been dormant or who had not reported for a period of time, and personnel who had been compromised but remained at liberty because of the frequent changes of government in South Vietnam and the resultant confused counterintelligence situation.

9. As can be noted in the above illustrations, CNC personnel are assigned to the full gamut of operational missions normal to intelligence




Services and intelligence activities.  However, there is no information presently available as to how the CNC determines the priorities of operational missions and targets; as to their techniques and criteria for the selection and determination of operational missions, and targets, and the role of other DRVN elements in the development of requirements and missions.









1.  According to available information, most of which is dated no later than 1964, on the organization of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, CNC headquarters includes six offices (phong), one section (ban), and one battalion (tieu-doan).  There is no information on whether a staff exists at the director’s level which might include an inspectorate among its other components.  The possibility that an inspectorate exists (or existed) is supported by the fact that in 1959, one NGUYEN-TRI (Nguyeenx Trij)29 made an inspection trip to Saigon, where he was arrested by South Vietnamese authorities and imprisoned.  TRI was reported to have been a CNC inspector in charge of Southeast Asian affairs, to have been a secretary to TRUONG-CHINH, and to have held the rank of brigadier general.  After the 1 November 1963 coup d’etat, TRI, as well as most all other CNC agents then held in prison, was released and subsequently disappeared.

2.  Information is lacking as to the type and quality of files (including dossiers and cards) held by the CNC, security measures in force inside CNC headquarters, and investigation procedures of new personnel (staff personnel as well as agents).

3.  Although there is necessarily a Party control system in the CNC, there are no details as to the Party control structure, nor is there any information as to the relation of the senior political officer or political commissar to the director of the CNC.  The latest known senior political officer of the CNC is LE-BINH (Lee Binh) who was reported to have been in that position in October 1961.





Organization of Research Agency 1963 - present


4.  Inasmuch as the Soviet Union and Communist China have sent advisors or “technicians,” as the communists call them, to North Viet-Nam, it is assumed that advisors have been assigned to the CNC.  Although there are indications that there were such advisors, there is no information as to their number, identity, or specialties, nor is the relative status of Soviet and Chinese advisors known.

5. The known organization of CNC headquarters comprises:

    a.  Internal Intelligence Office (Phong Diep-Bao Noi)

    b.  Foreign Intelligence Office (Phong Diep-Bao Ngoai)

    c.  Combat Intelligence Office (Phong Trinh-Sat)

    d.  Combat Intelligence Battalion (Tieu-Doan Trinh-Sat)

    e.  Research Office (Phong Nghien-Cuu)

    f.  Technical Office (Phong Ky-Thuat)

    g. Training Office (Phong Huan-Luyen)

    h. Administration Section (Ban Hanh-Chinh)

a. Internal Intelligence Office (Phong Diep-Bao Noi):

The Internal Intelligence Office is headed by LTO. Nguyen-Van-KHOAT (Nguyeenx Vawn Khoat) and has a reported personnel strength of twenty-four employees.  Its primary mission is the collection of strategic intelligence relating to the region south of the seventeenth parallel.30   It recruits espionage agents,





Informants, and support personnel.  It coordinates with the Training and Technical Offices in the preparation of agent and staff personnel for assignment in South Viet-Nam.  Once personnel have been trained, they are sent south via land, sea, or air.  The Office then directs their activities, receives their intelligence production, levies requirements, and handles their administrative and personal matters.

To carry out its duties, the Internal Intelligence Office has the following sections:

1). Communications Section (Ban Giao-Thong):

As of April 1963, this section was headed up by Major Tran-SINH (Traanf Sinh) who also served as Deputy Chief of the Internal Intelligence Office.  The duties of this section included the establishment of “contact bases or stations” (To Can-Cu) in North and South Viet-Nam; the direction and supervision of boat units to transport agent, staff, and support personnel, documents, and material to and from South Viet-Nam, and the establishment, organization, and maintenance of constant contact included radio communications, the operation of radio equipment and all that responsibility of the appropriate section of the Technical Office.

According to information dated 1963, the most important contact base in North Viet-Nam was located at Dong-Hoiin Quang-Binh Province.  This base headed NGUYEN-TUAN (Nguyeenx Tuan) appears to have been a central point through which all operations to the south were coordinated.  Although one or more boat units may be still located at Dong-Hoi, there is no further information that the contact base operates as it did in the past.  It is quite possible that operations





Formerly handled in Dong-Hoi were transferred to a base at Vinh-Linh which has been in existence since at least 1955.  The Vinh-Linh contact base, sometimes called Station 54, was disguised as a research section of the Vinh-Linh Party Committee and was composed of two sections: a command section and an operations section.31 The latter section was composed of three infiltration units.  (See Chart VII) The Vinh-Linh base was under the direct supervision of the CNC and functioned as a communications base in contact with communications units operating in the vicinity of the Ben-Hai River to obtain documents, information, and occasionally individuals for exploitation by the CNC.  One member of base was responsible for surveillance of the Thanh-Hoi area of Quang-Tri Province for maintaining contact with TRAN-THAC, a CNC agent in Thanh-Hoi.  At one time Vinh-Linh reportedly served as a radio relay station between operators in the south and CNC headquarters; the station also may have monitored or recorded its enemy’s radio traffic.32 Information on contact bases in South Viet-Nam will be covered in a subsequent chapter on field operations.

2).  Plans Section (Ban Ke-Hoach):

This section is responsible for the planning of missions to be performed by intelligence agents assigned to operate in South Viet-Nam.  The officer personnel assigned to the Plans Section 33 are called Planning Assistants (tro-ly Ke-hoach) and are directly responsible to the chief of the Internal Intelligence Office and the director of the CNC.  There is no section chief.  The Planning Assistants’ duties include the following:

    a).  Monitor he trainee’s training, including his personal attitudes;

    b).  Supplement theory (given by the training officer) with practical knowledge and experience;




Contact Base, North Viet-Nam


    c).  Submit to the head of the Internal Intelligence Office and the CNC director the proposed mission plan and area of operations of the prospective agent;

    d).  Compile an area study for the agent’s information;

    e).   Locate accommodation addresses in the target area;

    f).  Coordinate with the Communications Section in regards to the movement of the agent into the target area

    g).  After deployment of an agent, visit the target area;

h).  After completing the visit to the area, transfer operational control of the agent to the Operational Control Section.

3).  Operational Control Section (Ban Theo-Doi Hoat-Dong):

This section is responsible for the direction, control, and monitoring of the agent while in the target area.  The personnel assigned to this section34 are called assistants and are the headquarters case officers responsible to the chief of the Internal Intelligence Office and to the director of the CNC.  There is no section chief.  Their duties include the following:

    a).  Coordinate and cooperate with the Communications Section in maintaining constant and close contact with agents in the field;

    b).  Receive, screen, and submit information reports to the chief of the Internal Intelligence Office;





    c).  Monitor and control all phases of agent operations. E.g., collection of information, recruitment of sub-agents and informants;

    d).  Provide operational support, and

    e).  Provide assistance to the agent’s family, e.g., monthly allowance, housing, medical care, children’s education, etc.

4).  Training and Family Management Section (Ban Quan-Ly Huan-Luyen va Gia-Dinh):

This section is responsible for administration concerning agents, e.g., housing, records, and taking care of family members of those agents reported missing (who have died, been captured, or have been out of contact for one reason or another for a long period of time).  The personnel assigned to this section35 are responsible to the chief of the Internal Intelligence Office but their work does not require direct contact with the director of CNC.  Their duties include the following:

    a).  Take care of all administrative needs of the trainees during training;

    b).  Provide assistance to the instructors in carrying out practical exercises;

    c). Monitor the trainee’s academic results and personal attitude;

    d).  Assist the Planning Assistance in the preparation of the agent for infiltration, and

    e).  Assist the family of agents reported missing (monthly allowances, employment, housing, medical care, and children’s education).





b.      Foreign Intelligence Office (Phong Diep-Bao Ngoai):

This office is headed by LTC. Vo-Van-DOAN (Vox Vawn Doanf) and is staffed by approximately twenty employees, none of whom has been identified.  Presumably this office’s mission and functions are similar to those of the Internal Intelligence Office.  Its area of responsibility, however, lies outside Viet-Nam.  The one source who was able to give considerable information on internal intelligence could only say that foreign intelligence collected by the CNC is destined for the Prime Minister’s Office.  “The information is used as a guide in directing national policies and to guide the country in its foreign trade and national defense.”  According to the interrogator, the source had no firsthand knowledge of the mission or capabilities of this office.  Instead he based his statements on hearsay, his own ideas, and information provided by two friends (unidentified) who were assigned to the Foreign Intelligence Office.

It is believed that although the mission is partly as described above, information collected by the Foreign Intelligence Office is handled in the same manner as information from the Internal Intelligence Office, i.e., the information is disseminated to the Politbureau (of which the Prime Minister is a member) and there used in the formation of national policy.  It seems unlikely that the Prime Minister would receive intelligence which had not been disseminated to the party apparatus as the source’s statement implies.

The Foreign Intelligence Office is composed of at least three sections:

1).  Communications Section (Ban Giao-Thong):

This section is responsible for transportation of intelligence agents to foreign countries and establishing communications channels, other than





Radio, between the agent and CNC headquarters for the transmittal of documents, instructions, and reports.  There is no specific information as to how an agent travels to a foreign country nor how the agent communicates with headquarters in Hanoi.

2).  Plans and Operational Control Section (Ban Ke-Hoach va Theo-Doi Hoat-Dong):

This section is responsible for the planning necessary to mount an operation abroad, the selection of agent personnel, their training, and subsequent direction of the operation once the agent is in place.  Agents are sent abroad apparently as members of various delegations (diplomatic, cultural, educational, sports, and trade).  There is no information as to what is involved in obtaining official cover, documentation used or required, the use of illegal agents (especially in large Vietnamese communities abroad), specific targets, operational support, etc.

3).  Training and Management Section (Ban Quan-Ly Huan-Luyen):

This section is responsible for the administrative arrangements involving the agent’s preparation for his mission abroad.  Its functions are probably similar to those of the Training and Family Management Section in the Internal Intelligence Office.

According to information dated April 1963 the collection of information on countries having diplomatic, economic, or cultural relations with the DRVN is done generally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and possibly by the Ministry of foreign Trade in those areas coming within its purview).  It is believed that the Foreign Intelligence Office has representatives in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand,

Radio, between the agent and CNC headquarters for the transmittal of documents, instructions, and reports. There is no specific information as to how an agent travels to a foreign country nor how the agent communicates with headquarters in Hanoi. 2). Plans and Operational Control Section (Ban Ke-Hoach va Theo-Doi Hoat-Dong): This section is responsible for the planning necessary to mount an operation abroad, the selection of agent personnel, their training, and subsequent direction of the operation once the agent is in place. Agents are sent abroad apparently as members of various delegations (diplomatic, cultural, educational, sports, and trade). There is no information as to what is involved in obtaining official cover, documentation used or required, the use of illegal agents (especially in large Vietnamese communities abroad), specific targets, operational support, etc. 3). Training and Management Section (Ban Quan-Ly Huan-Luyen): This section is responsible for the administrative arrangements involving the agent’s preparation for his mission abroad. Its functions are probably similar to those of the Training and Family Management Section in the Internal Intelligence Office. According to information dated April 1963 the collection of information on countries having diplomatic, economic, or cultural relations with the DRVN is done generally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and possibly by the Ministry of foreign Trade in those areas coming within its purview). It is believed that the Foreign Intelligence Office has representatives in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand,





Japan, Hong Kong, France, the U.S.S.R., and Communist China.25

Although it is apparently agreed among some communist countries not to run clandestine intelligence operations against each other, it is believed by P.J. Honey that…the traditional Vietnamese fears of Chinese expansion remain strong, and there are excellent grounds for the belief that the principal raison d’ etre of such a powerful army in North Viet-Nam today is to protect North Viet-Nam against possible Chinese aggression.

“Under circumstances such as these it would be folly indeed for HO-CHI-MINH to entrust the command of the Vietnamese People’s Army to anyone other than an avowed enemy of China.  More than any other Vietnamese leader, GIAP is just such a person.  It may well be that HO-CHI-MINH’s apprehension over the growing authority within the army of the pro-Chinese NGUYEN-CHI-THANH, and the danger this represented for the defense of North Vietnamese territory, are the real reasons why GIAP was restored to full and undisputed control of the Vietnamese People’s Army in March 1961.  If this line of argument is carried a little further, it suggests that a set of detailed plans for the defense of North Viet-Nam against attack by China must lie ready in the DRVN Ministry of Defense at Hanoi.  Moreover, in order to be effective these plans would have to be kept constantly up to date, changing from time to time so as to take account of new developments in China’s military strength; and that implies the necessity for North Viet-Nam to keep herself well informed of all military developments in China, even those of a secret nature.  She can obtain the necessary information only by means of espionage.  It would therefore be surprising if North Viet-Nam does not have spies actively engaged in the collection of military intelligence inside the territory of her ally China.”36





According to a relatively senior Vietnamese source whose information is not later than late 1961, Communist China was supposed to provide the DRVN with intelligence on several Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Formosa, and Japan.  There are no further details to support details at all concerning the relations between DRVN China or Soviet Russia.

a.        Combat Intelligence Office (Phong Trinh-Sat):

This office is headed by Captain PHAN-DINH (Phan Dinh) and is staffed by about twenty-eight employees, most of whom are junior officers; the remainder are warrant officers and senior sergeants, none of whom has been identified.

Although there is no information to support the theory, it is believed this office may have taken over those military intelligence collection functions of the Cuc Quan-Bao before its merger with the Liaison Directorate in 1957.

The Combat Intelligence Office appears to operate as a staff element; however, there are implications that it may have operational responsibilities, at least in the DRVN.

Its primary functions appear to be:

a).  The preparation of training material for combat intelligence units of DRVN military regions, divisions, and autonomous regiments;

b).  The preparation of operational instructions for issuance by the PAVN General Staff to its combat intelligence units in the military regions, to other field units and to the CNC’s own combat intelligence battalion;





c).  The synthesis of information on the enemy situation in the DRVN (this situation reporting almost certainly covers South Viet-Nam as well) based upon material obtained from the Military Security Section of the General Political Directorate, The Border Security Forces (of the Ministry of Public Security), and the Ministry itself);

d).  The organization and conduct of combat intelligence training courses for division and regimental combat intelligence personnel, and,

e).  The inspection of the combat intelligence training portion of the practical exercises set up by the General Military Training Directorate for major field units.

In addition to training personnel for assignment with combat intelligence units, the Combat Intelligence Office also provides training for personnel who will be assigned to special operations (dac-cong) units.  For example, a captured source stated in 1967 that he had been a member of the 7th Combat Intelligence/Special Operations Unit (“Reconnaissance/Sapper Unit” in text) which had been formed before late 1965 by the North Vietnamese High Command’s Research Agency (CNC) in the Han-Xuyen area of Hai-Duong province, where it received training before moving to South Viet-Nam in late 1965.

A captured source37 stated that he attended Ground Forces School, in Son-Tay Province from April 1963 to April 1965, where he completed the Officers’ Training Course.  Source was then transferred to the CNC and in May 1965 he was sent to Combat Intelligence and Special Operations Course in Xuan-Mai.  When his course ended in August 1965, source was assigned to the CNC special operations unit.  Following additional training





and preparations for infiltrating into South Viet-Nam, source went south and was assigned to a special operations unit in Hue.

It appears from available information that the CNC’s involvement with combat intelligence units and special operations units lasts as long as these units have moved south, they become responsible to the local military commands to which they are assigned.38

a.       Combat Intelligence Battalion (Tieu-Doan Trinh-Sat):

Little is known about this battalion, apparently a subordinate element of the Combat Intelligence Office.  Older material dated 1953 from an official French source indicates the existence of a combat intelligence battalion called the 426th.  This battalion, formerly a combat unit, became an intelligence battalion in February 1951 and was placed at the disposition of the Cuc Quan-Bao, the military intelligence component of the PAVN General Staff.  Military intelligence provided battalion personnel who were intelligence specialists or action personnel trained either in DRVN military schools or in China.  The 426th had the same responsibilities as the combat intelligence units of the regular divisions, i.e., the collection of combat intelligence in a determined sector.  Directly responsible to the General Staff, the 426th was responsible for obtaining complete information on any region which the DVRN might choose as a future operational zone.  In August 1952, the 426th appeared to have some 600 to700 men divided into six companies, including an administrative and a “civilian” (tien-y) company.

Whether or not the 426th Battalion is the same battalion referred to in information date




April 1963 or is its predecessor is not known.  Only one source has reported in any detail on the present Combat Intelligence Battalion, without, however, giving it a numerical designation.  According to this source, the total strength of the battalion is some 600men; it is divided into four companies, each responsible for a specific type of work:

1).  An Infantry Company responsible for collecting information on the enemy at the tactical level;

2).  A Chemical Company responsible for (a) analyzing the various chemical agents used by the enemy; (b) recommending countermeasures to be taken against such chemicals, and (c) cooperating with local units in neutralizing such chemicals.

3).  A Combat Company, a motorized cavalry unit assigned to operate behind enemy lines.  If practicable and necessary, it may engage in sporadic skirmishes then quickly withdraw.  It also provokes enemy action in order to determine the volume and deployment of enemy firepower.

4).  A Demolition Company responsible for mounting demolition operations behind enemy lines against command posts, telecommunications centers, and other areas of major importance.

The overall mission of the Combat Intelligence Battalion is to conduct combat intelligence operations in support of the People’s Army of Viet-Nam.  It also serves as a model combat intelligence unit during practical training exercises organized by the CNC’s Training Office for combat intelligence units (companies and platoons) of various military regions and divisions.




The present commanding officer, whose name is known, holds the rank of major.  His predecessor, a captain, was transferred in January 1962 to the position of assistant operations officer of the CNC’s Combat Intelligence Office.

a.       Research Office (Phong Nghien-Cuu):

The chief of the Research Office is a major and its personnel complement includes twenty-three senior captains and one sergeant, all unidentified.  The sergeant is in charge of maps.   The mission of the Research Office is to bring together raw information reports from the various collection offices in the CNC (Internal and Foreign Intelligence Offices, Combat Intelligence Office, and the Radio Intercept Section of the Technical Office).  It compares information with intelligence maintained in its own files as well as with intelligence produced by other government agencies (including party elements).  Final reports are submitted to the Minister of National Defense and to the above, the Research Office is responsible for levying specific intelligence requirements on collection networks in the field.  There is presently no information regarding the format of CNC disseminations, the method used to evaluate a source and his information, or the kinds of disseminations (in addition to reports), e.g., finished studies and intelligence estimates.

b.       Technical Office (Phong Ky-Thuat):

This office headed by Captain THAN (Than), is responsible for conducting technical training in documentation, secret writing, photography, radio, and cryptography.  It also performs all the CNC’s technical work and monitors enemy radio transmissions.  It is believed that the office includes




A documentation section, a radio training section, radio communication section, radio intercept section, and a cryptography section.  The total staff is believed to stand somewhere between seventy-five and one hundred members.  All personnel were once military, but all have been transferred to the civilian personnel branch of the Ministry of National Defense.

1).  Documentation Section (Ban Giay):

This section, headed by HONG (Hoongf), a civilian, provides such support to operation in alias or false identity cards, fishing permits, permits for change of residence, travel documents, and boat documentation.  This section also includes a secret writing unit and a photography unit.

2).  Radio Communications Section (Ban Thu-Phat Vo-Tuyen):

This section has a staff of about twenty employees (all unidentified) and is responsible for (a) transmitting coded messages originating Foreign Intelligence Offices and encoded by the Cryptography Section); (b) receiving coded messages from field agents (messages are passed to the Cryptography Section for decoding), and (c) transmitting “one-way messages” to field agents not equipped with transmitters.

3).  Radio Intercept Section (Ban Ma-Than Vo-Tuyen):

This section is responsible for collecting intelligence through the intercept of foreign radio transmissions.




4).  Radio Training Section (Ban Huan-Luyen):

This section trains communications and intelligence officers in radio operation, repair, and theory before they are sent to South Viet-Nam.

5).  Cryptography Section (Ban Co-Yen):

(Cryptography is referred to by CNC personnel as “co-yen,” a contraction of co-mat – section – and trong-yen – vital or essential.)  This section is responsible for encoding and decoding all messages to and from the field.  It is also responsible for training personnel in cryptography, including the use of one-time pads and numerical codes.

a.       Training Office (Phong Huan-Luyen):

This office, directed by Senior Captain THUAN (Thuan) and manned by seventeen unidentified junior officers, is responsible for the theoretical intelligence training of all the agent personnel of the Internal and Foreign Intelligence Offices.  Training methods and subjects covered are described in more detail in Chapter VI, paragraph 2.

b.       Administrative Section (Ban Hanh-Chanh):

The Administrative Section is in charge of all aspects of general administration for the CNC.  As of April 1961, it had a total of twenty-one men and officers organized into five groups and six assistants.  Most of this section’s personnel have not been identified.  The chief of the section is Captain HOANG-VAN (Hoangf Vaan).  The section is organized as follows:




1).  Security Group (To Bao-Mat):

This group, headed by a lieutenant assisted by a master sergeant, is responsible for safeguarding classified files, working papers, documents, records, etc.  Every member of the CNC is furnished with a sort of briefcase made of leather or heavy cloth, in which to keep his working files.  At closing time (about 1100 in the morning and 1700 in the evening and earlier in the summertime), he puts all his work papers in his briefcase, secures it by passing a toggle and string into a box containing soft wax and attached to the other end of the string; he applies his personal chop bearing the word “security” and the owner’s identity number to the wax, closes the seal box and hands the briefcase to a member of the Security Group. This man checks the seal, places the briefcase on a shelf, gives the owner a card bearing his name and identity number which must be surrendered by the owner when reclaiming his briefcase. According to available information, there have been no serious security violations, although minor infractions have occurred.  There is no information as to how security violations are handled or what punishment is involved.

2).  Printing Group (To An-Loat):

This group has four members who are in charge of reproducing reports and other documents by duplicating machines.  As of April 1963, the group was equipped with four duplicating machines.

3).  Typing Group (To Danh-May):

The Typing Group makes its services available to all the CNC sections and offices




Except the Combat Intelligence Battalion which is too far away from headquarters.  There are three female typists (unidentified) and three typewriters; one or two have Vietnamese keyboards.

4).  Liaison Group (To Lien-Lac):

This group is in charge of managing maintaining, and operating the CNC’s official and unofficial correspondence and is staffed by three employees.  The group has three locally made bicycles.

5).  Vehicle Group (To Xe-Co):

This group is in charge of managing, maintaining, and operating the CNC’s nine vehicles, which in April 1963, included the following:

a).  One sedan, Moskvich (sic), painted milky white, with official number plates (red) bearing the letters FA and four digits in blue.

b).  One pick-up truck, GAZ, painted military grey.

c).  One command car, GAZ, painted military grey.

d).  Two Russian made IJ motorcycles.

e).  Two medium Czechoslovakian JAWA motorcycles.

f).  Two small Russian made K-50 motorcycles.

These vehicles were supplied through Soviet aid and are reserved for official business.  The vehicles ae used primarily by the Liaison Group and the Combat Intelligence Office.  Transportation requisition




chits are submitted by various offices to the Administrative Section.  If there are many requests, thee section can request additional vehicles from the General Logistics Directorate.  Fuel is requisitioned on a quarterly and annual basis from the General Logistics Directorate.  Fuel consumption is strictly limited, and for this reason, according to source, there has never been any misuse of official vehicles for personal use.

6).  Housing Assistant (Tro-Ly Nha-Cua):

As of April 1963, this position was occupied by Lieutenant THANH (Thanhf) whose function was to take care of all housing used officially by the CNC office buildings are the responsibility of the General Logistics Directorate.  The Housing Assistant is responsible for housing allotted by the Ministry of National Defense to the CNC; housing temporarily borrowed from other agencies, and housing rented from the Hanoi Housing Service or from private owners.  His function also includes securing sufficient housing to accommodate staff personnel who live away from headquarters; turning in periodic charges (rent, public utilities, etc.) to the Training and Family Management Sections of both the Internal and Foreign Intelligence Offices for payment to the owners.  The assistant also is responsible for making repairs and furnishing quarters.

7).  Fiscal Assistant (Tro-Ly Tai-Chinh):

The Fiscal Assistant, Senior Sergeant BICH (Bichs) receives funds from the General Logistics Directorate with which to pay staff employees’ monthly salaries, per diem, and other miscellaneous




expenses.  To obtain South Vietnamese or foreign currency, the Fiscal Assistant must submit a requisition signed by the CNC director and endorsed by Vice Premium Pham HUNG to the National Bank of Viet-Nam (formerly the Bank of Indochina).  Budget estimates for foreign currency are generally made by the CNC to cover a full year; accounting is done on a quarterly basis.

8).  Ordnance Assistant (Tro-Ly Vu-Khi):

This position is held by a warrant officer who is responsible for the storage, maintenance, and issuance of the CNC’s weapons and ammunition.  This office serves the entire CNC except for the Combat Intelligence Battalion.  The latter element draws its equipment from the General Logistics Directorate.  Weapons in the CNC arsenal include:

a)       Chinese communist AK submachine guns

Chinese communist K-50 submachine guns

French Tulle submachine guns

Chinese communist copy of the Russian K-50 and K-51 pistols

U.S. Colt 45 and Remington pistols

Belgian Hastal pistols

German P 38 pistols

North Vietnamese copy of Chinese communist grenades

9).  Personnel Assistant (Tro-Ly Quan-Luo):

The Personnel Assistant Warrant Officer NAM (NAM), was responsible for CNC personnel actions, including maintenance of personnel strength, transfers, promotions, punishments, citations, vacations, sick leave, etc.  CNC officer personnel




records are held by the Personnel Affairs Bureau of the General Political Directorate.

10).  Supply Assistant (Tro-Ly Quan-Nhu):

A senior sergeant (not further identified) was assigned to this position.  He was responsible for the issuance of military clothing and personal equipment, food and other consumer items, e.g., cloth and bicycle accessories, and for the procurement of bicycle parts and office supplies.

11).  Medical Assistant (Tro-Ly Y-Te):

Lieutenant SOAI, a medical doctor and medical assistant is responsible for providing medical care for intelligence agents.  Medical care for regular CNC staff personnel is provided by the 354th Military Hospital located next to the Cot Co Compound.  Family members may obtain papers from the Personnel Assistant for public medical care.  Families of agents in the field are provided with a special card issued by the General Logistics Directorate for medical care at the nearest military hospital.







1.       According to information dated March 1963 almost of the CNC headquarters elements are located inside the Cot-Co Compound.

2.      Before 1954, this area, then known as the Thanh-Long Barracks, had been occupied by the Frency army commanding general for Tonkin.  After the Geneva Agreements were signed on 21 July 1954, the French turned the area over to the North Vietnamese government which assigned the compound to the Ministry of National Defense.


3.      The compound is bounded by five streets:  Ly Nam De Street on the east; Hoang Dieu Street on the west; Phan Dinh Phung Street on the north; Tran Phu Street on the south, and Cot-Co Street on the southwest.  A brick wall and barbed wire fence surrounds the area and varies in height from three to six feet.  There are four entrances:  one each on Ly Nam De, Hoang Diey, Phan Dinh Phung, and Cot-Co Streets.  The compound contains many one and two story buildings.  A few new ones have been built since 1954.  The buildings are in good condition and working conditions are comfortable.  (See map of Hanoi and accompanying charts which show the location of various CNC components.)

4.      A security guard section, consisting of some 200 men, has the responsibility for physical security.  There are five guard posts; one at each of the four entrances and one at the entrance




to the Ministry of National Defense building.  Each post has two guards, one of whom is armed.  The unarmed man usually checks papers while the armed man watches.  A patrol consisting of three men with light weapons (machine guns) patrols the area at night.  They wear red arm bands with the yellow letters “TT” on them.

5.  Identification papers of those who have just moved into the barracks or have just been newly employed are checked often in the beginning.  There are also occasional spot inspections of all permits and passes.  Drivers are frequently checked to see if they have the proper papers and need to be in the area.  Drivers of one bureau in the Ministry must have authorization from their own bureau to go into another area.

6.  Mail and official correspondence is processed through the administrative section of the General Bureau (sic).  This section distributes incoming mail and delivers outgoing mail to the military post office.

7.  There is a telephone system which allows inter-office calls between the more important officers and civilian personnel.  These calls must be placed by the switchboard operator whose number is 8001.  The operator can connect officials with military regions and division headquarters.

8.  Water and electricity are supplied by the Water and Power Office in Hanoi.  A power transformer station which provides the barracks with 110-volt current is located inside the eastern entrance.

9.  All streets in the compound are paved with asphalt and are clean and well kept.  There are not street signs, but there are street lamps on both sides of the streets.  After 1954, new offices and houses were built on a number of the roadways.




10.  The Management Bureau of the Logistics Directorate is in charge of sanitation in the barracks.  The bureau employs a number of permanent workmen to make needed repairs and to police the area.  General housekeeping, however, is the responsibility of each bureau.

11.  Two other CNC components, the Combat Intelligence Battalion and the Radio Intercept Section, are located outside the Cot Co Compound.  The Combat Intelligence Battalion is located in a flat area about one kilometer north of the Phung Bridge on the highway between Hanoi and Son-Tay.  According to a well informed source, the Radio Intercept Station is believed to be in the same area as the radio storage and repair shop located on the road between Thuy-Khe, near Ho-Tay Lake, and Hanoi.  Although there is complicated antenna system at the Thuy-Khe site, there are no available details as to its exact configuration.



HANOI, North Viet-Nam

Research Agency


Legend for map of Ministry of National Defense Installation in the Cot Co Compound, Hanoi:

1.       Entrance

2.      Ministry of National Defense, CHQ Reception

3.      Guard Detachment

4.      General Rear Services Department

5.      Editorial Office, Peoples Army Literature and Art

6.      6.  Editorial Office, Peoples Army

7.      Engineer Bureau

8.      General Staff Department

9.      Garage of General Rear Services Department

10.   General Political Department

11.   Cua Dong Family Quarters

12.   Garage of General Rear Services Department

13.   Education Management Bureau

14.   Naval Bureau

15.   Cot Co Stadium

16.   Messhall, Kitchen, Military Medical Services and Canteen

17.   Quarters of the Commander-in-Chief and General Staff Department

18.   Army Auto and Machinery Ship (including quarters for personnel)

19.   Cot Co Compound

20.   Cua Nam Family Quarters

21.   Physical Training Office, Military Soccer Team and Quarters




1.  Quarters or Education Management Bureau and Secretariat of the Ministry of National Defense

2.  354th Military Hospital

3.  Quarters for personnel of all levels and of 354th Military Hospital



Cua-Nam Family Quartes


Legend for RESEARCH AGENCY Installation within Cot Co Compound:

1.  Garage of General Rear Services Department

2.  Cryptography Section’

3.  Office of the Chief of Agency

4.  Printing Branch

5.  Security Branch

6.  Administrative Section

7.  Reconnaissance Office

8.  Internal Intelligence Office

9.  Conference Room

10.  Training Office

11.  Research Office

12.  Technical Office

13.  Foreign Intelligence Office

14.  Dormitories

15.  Quarters

16.  Radio Training Section

17.  Garage (Administrative Section)

18.  Weapons Storage (Administrative Section)

19.  Photographic Laboratory (Technical Office)

20.  Garage (Administrative Section)

21.  Radio Communication Section (Technical Office)






1.  Personnel

    a.  The North Vietnamese armed forces serve as the primary source for the staff personnel of the strategic intelligence service.  Military personnel make up the majority of CNC staff officers and are assigned particularly to the clandestine intelligence components of the agency and, of course, to the Combat Intelligence Office. Civilian staff personnel are in the main assigned to the other components:  support, administrative, and technical activities.  Female personnel occupy secretarial and typist positions and in the field are locally recruited to serve as couriers because it is easier for a woman to move from one area to another without arousing undue suspicion on the part of local security forces.

    b.  Before employing civilians, the CNC must obtain the approval of the Dang Lao-Dong (Communist Party).  Assignment of military personnel to the CNC requires the approval of the Ministry personnel to the CNC requires the approval of the Ministry of National Defense.  There is no detailed information about the exact procedures followed in selection, investigation, and recruitment of potential staff personnel; for example, which agency or component performs an investigation of potential candidates for employment?  What from does this investigation take?  Is this function performed by the Ministry of Public Security or by one of the bureaus of the General Political Directorate?  Since official files of military personnel in the CNC are held by the General Political Directorate, it is quite possible that the Military Security Service of the Directorate investigates potential candidates within the armed forces.39




c.  Generally speaking, the basic requirements for employment or assignment to the CNC include proven ideological motivation, political reliability, demonstrated resourcefulness, absence of personal derogatory information, and good health.  Available information indicates that operations officers when assigned to South Viet-Nam must also have experience with the guerrilla activities; relatives in South Viet-Nam, and previous intelligence experience, either in the military services, the CNC, or the guerrilla movement.

d.  The records and files of the military personnel assigned to the CNC are held by the Personnel Affairs Bureau, General Political Directorate of the PAVN High Command.  Although the CNC may recommend an officer for promotion on the basis of his performance and achievement in the CNC, promotions of all military personnel in the CNC remain within the purview of the General Political Directorate of the PAVN High Command.

e.  The major complaint in the intelligence service appears to be directed especially against the slowness of the agency to recognize achievement and success in intelligence activities.  Promotions are slow.  It is apparently the opinion of those employees who hold military rank that an assignment to intelligence work does nothing to enhance their military careers, and because of the large number of low-ranking personnel (the majority hold ranks from second lieutenant through senior captain) there is a lack of prestige and status which ordinarily goes with military rank.  There is also some indication that personnel originally from the south are not given equal status with northerners.  This discrimination was particularly practiced during the early years following the end of the Indochinese War in 1954 but now this most Vietnamese of all intracultural differences may have diminished in importance.  Recent concrete information is lacking.




f.   The pay scale for CNC personnel is based upon the schedule used in the armed forces.  Civilian personnel are paid in accordance with the resource military rank.  In addition to a basic salary, CNC personnel also receive special allowances and payment in kind which are determined by the employee’s marital status, length of military service, and his position within the service, that is, whether he is in training, assigned to headquarters or to the field.

g.  The monetary value of the North Vietnamese pay scale is low in comparison with South Vietnamese standards, which are low enough themselves.  In 1964 one North Vietnamese dong or plaster was equal to twenty South Vietnamese plasters, or about seventeen cents (US).  CNC personnel assigned to South Viet-Nam are paid in South Vietnamese plasters.  Although the possibility exists that the CNC uses counterfeit southern money to pay its southern personnel, there has been no clear evidence.

h. Following are examples of monthly salaries and allowances of military personnel at CNC headquarters in Hanoi:40

  Senior Captain                Captain                           
Basic salary        100   89  
Family allowance     0*   10**  
Longevity   12   12  
Cost of living   14   14  
Miscellaneous     3.46      3.20  
  129.46 ($22.00) 128.30 ($21.80)


**5 piasters for each child after second



i.   In addition, after training but while still in Hanoi before being sent on their operational missions, CNC staff personnel receive a daily supplemental allowances of 1.20 piasters ($.20).

j.   Meat and rice ration coupons are provided military personnel in headquarters; however, if military personnel take their meals in a military mess these coupons are not issued and three piasters are deducted from the employee’s monthly salary.  If meals are taken privately, an additional allowance of six piasters per month is provided for a cook’s wages.

k.   CNC operating outside North Viet-Nam are paid a flat periodic sum41 regardless of military rank and effective the day of departure from Hanoi.  While an officer is on duty outside North Viet-Nam, his family receives an allowance from the CNC.42 CNC headquarters also covers expenses involved in establishing and maintaining cover as well as other operational expenses.

2.   Training

    a.  CNC personnel assigned operational missions undergo training before deployment. There appears to be no regularly scheduled sequential training program, nor training in groups, and all training is tutorial.  The duration, specific content, and timing of such an individual training course are determined by the specific requirements of the operational mission and the individual’s needs.  In addition to the inevitable political indoctrination and motivational conditioning, the CNC provides training in intelligence tradecraft, technical devices, and communications techniques as required.43




    b.  All instruction is on an individual full-time basis.  Trainees have no additional responsibilities during the training period.  The instructor trains the officer or agent in the latter’s quarters.  ON the few known occasions when several students have been brought together, the students were placed in individual cubicles.

    c.  The headquarters element to which the individual belongs is responsible for planning the content of the training course, in conjunction with the Training Office.  The latter supervises and coordinates the actual, training, drawing instructors from its own small staff and from other CNC components.  The sponsoring office remains responsible for continuing administrative support for the student during the period in training, e.g., furnishing salary and taking care of his dependents.

    d.  During the training period, a good deal of emphasis is placed upon cover to protect the identity of the student and his relationship with the CNC.  He is played in a safe house (room, apartment, or house) selected by the CNC and is provided a prepared cover story for use in the Hanoi area.  Both the student and his instructors use aliases and are forbidden to ask personal questions of each other.  The student is urged to minimize his contacts with his family and friends.  A post office box serviced by the CNC is made available for any correspondence the student might have.  For use in emergencies, the student is given an identity card naming him as an employee of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu.

    e.  The length of the course of training is dependent upon the needs of the operational assignment and may vary in length from one month to two years.  Relatively short courses for CNC support personnel such as couriers, boat crews, etc., are usually given in areas other than Hanoi.  Officer




personnel directly involved in the clandestine collection of intelligence, such as agent handlers, received longer periods of training (up to two years) usually in the area of CNC headquarters in Hanoi.

    f. The usual method of instruction is to provide the student with training material which the trainee studies for a period of time fixed by the instructor, about two or three days.  After the study period, the instructor gives the student a lecture on the subject under study.  Relevant questions may be raised by the trainee for clarification and discussion.  The student then writes a report on the subject.  Practical exercises are included in all training courses, e.g., couriers practice servicing dead drops; operations officers and agent personnel practices casing a target, selecting, and developing potential agents, etc.

    g. Tradecraft training may include such intelligence techniques as the establishment of cover, how to conduct a surveillance and how to counter surveillance, the development of agent networks, operational security, preparation of reports, selection and use of dead drops, selection and use of couriers, etc.

    h.  The assigned operational mission determines the extent and type of training in technical matters.  Included may be courses in photography, radio communicates, codes, and secret writing.  Upon occasion, there are special courses in foreign languages, particularly English for possible penetration of United States installations.  In one known instance, an officer was given academic training to provide him with a seventh grade education (equivalent to junior high school).




    i. Commercial cameras, ranging from a box camera to the Minox, may be used in training the student.  He may receive training in document photography as well as the more normal landscape photography.  The student of his own work.  Usually, personnel in the field obtain their own photographic supplies and cameras on the local market.

    j. Training in radio communications may include the operation of various types of radios, their maintenance and repair, the use of Morse code, radio security, etc.

    k. Cryptographic training includes the use of systems for the encryption and decryption of radio transmissions; the sophistication of the system is determined by the sensitivity of the mission.

    l. Training in secret writing includes the preparation of inks and the selection of paper as well as writing and developing.  Elementary secret inks such as rice water and lemon juice are used both in training and in operational personnel are instructed in the preparation of inks from materials readily available in their target area.  Although more sophisticated systems are available to the CNC, little is known about them or about their use.

    m.  Political indoctrination is interspersed throughout the training period.  Such indoctrination includes lectures, discussion, and readings on Marxian-Leninist principles; the history of the Communist Party of Viet-Nam, and the official DRVN policy on the current situation in South Viet-Nam.

    n.  In 1962, at least six identified CNC intelligence officers were sent to the Soviet Union for training in intelligence.  They remained there




until the end of 1963 when they returned to the DRVN.  There have also been indications that some officers may have received training in Communist China.  Information concerning the kind of training, location of schools, subjects covered, etc., is fragmentary at best.

    o.  Although no known Soviet instructors have participated in CNC training programs, some Soviet materials, such as manuals and equipment are used in training.  Similarly, some intelligence materials of Chinese communist origin have also been used in CNC training courses.  In at least two instances during the mid-1950’s, CNC trainees, whose subsequent operational targets included the Chinese community in South Viet-Nam, were trained by individuals presumed to have been Chinese communists.  Detailed or even general knowledge of the presence of foreign advisors in the CNC is almost totally lacking.



South Vietnam Administrative Divisions





1. For administrative and operational purposes, the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, before 1 November 1963, had divided South Viet-Nam into three operational areas each headed by a headquarters representative who served as a major communications link between Hanoi and agent networks operating in each of the areas.  In addition, the director of CNC sent a great number of operations officers to South Viet-Nam who, operating independently of the CNC representatives, reported directly to Hanoi either by radio or through a system of couriers.

2.  The confused state of historical information44 on the above organization, makes it impossible to give an exact description of the three operational areas or regions in South Viet-Nam; within imprecise limits they were as follows:

    a. The “northern central Viet-Na, region”45 apparently covered the area from the Demarcation Zone to Phan-Thei in Binh-Thuan Province but did not include the central highlands.  Its headquarters were located near the Hien-Luong Bridge on the north side of rhe 17th Parallel.46 Apparently a secondary headquarters, called the Bridge End Center, was located in Dong-Ha in Quang-Tri Province.47

    b. The “southern office region” included the central highlands and extended from Phan-Thiet on the coast to and including Saigon.  Headquarters appears to have been in the Di-Linh District of Lam-Dong Province.




    c.  The “third region” covered rhe entire area below Saigon with headquarters reported to have been at the Nam-Bo Regional Party Committee headquarters in Svay-Rieng Province, Cambodia.49

3.  Following the revolution of 1 November 1963, the organization as shown above may have been modified or abolished all together.  There is no confirmatory information.

4.  According to one competent source whose information predates November 1961, the most important CNC officer in the field was the phai-vien (phais vienn).50 He was either a headquarters’ representative, as described in paragraph 1. above, or he might have been the head of a contact base or station (see below).  In most instances the phai-vien lived in communist controlled territory and made only occasional trips in areas not under communist control.  The phai-vien, who was equal in rank to battalion commander or provincial committee member, controlled from three to six phai-khien.

5. The phai-khien (phais-khieenr)51 was a professional intelligence officer or agent sent by the CNC in Hanoi to South Viet-Nam where he lived under cover he had established himself in an area not under communist control.  The phai-khien or agent handler was equal in rank to a company commander or district committee member and usually controlled no more than three co-can or collection agents.

6.  The co-can (cow cans) was a semi-professional intelligence agent recruited and trained locally and either self-employed by others at work which served as natural cover for his intelligence activities.  Each co-can handled usually no more than three co-so (cos swr)52




the lowest echelon of DRVN directed intelligence agents.  The co-so was usually a military or civilian employee of the South Vietnamese government or had legitimate reasons to be in contact with South Vietnamese government employees.

7.  The armistice between the French and Viet-Minh forces, signed Geneva on 21 July 1954, brought an end to hostilities in Viet-Nam and divided Viet-Nam into two countries pending “nationwide” elections to be held in July 1956.  As a result of the armistice the northern portion of Viet-Nam came under the total domination of the communists.  Provisions were made, however, to permit those in the north who did not want to remain under communist rule to move to the newly created Republic of Viet-Nam.  Approximately 800,00 refugees chose to leave North Vietnamese who had submitted their requests to leave were forced to remain in the north.

8.  During the evacuation of Viet-Minh forces from the south, the communists took with them a total of some 80,000 to 100,000 selected southerners who had chosen to live in the north.  Many of these “regrouped” would be used later by the DRVN for various activities, including intelligence, in South Viet-Nam.  In addition to those who moved north, Hanoi left behind 5,000 to 10,000 elite cadres and catches of weapons and supplies.  These cadres mostly political and administrative personnel, blended into the local population and did not begin their subversive activities until after July 1956 when it became evident that there would be no “national” elections throughout Viet-Nam.

9.  The Geneva Armistice for Viet-Nam created a situation ready-made for perceptive




communist intelligence planning; that is, the refugee evacuation program became an ideal over for the introduction of communist agents into South Viet-Nam.  Knowing that South Vietnamese authorities would be unable to screen thoroughly the thousands of refugees.  While many of the persons recruited would predictably be discovered or turn themselves in upon arrival in the south, a useful proportion was expected to pass unnoticed and to operate successfully in South Viet-Nam.  Thus a reservoir of agents and potential agents in the south was created for exploitation at a later time.

10.  North Vietnamese intelligence selected its agents primarily from among those who were known to have served with the Viet-Minh during the Resistance War Against the French, and concentrated upon those whose background, education, and station in life would allow them to rise to positions of influence or to move in operationally interesting circles.

11.  North Vietnamese intelligence paid particular attention to the recruitment of promising young English-speaking North Vietnamese.  Once recruited, trained, and briefed, these potential agents obtained employment on the American ships used to transport refugees to the south.  As the refugee program moved to a close, these interpreters were ordered to take up residence in the south and to seek employment as interpreters and/or translators with United States installations while awaiting a contact that in some cases did not take place until three years later.

12.  The public school system in Hanoi also appears to have been a major source of potential agent personnel.  Research has revealed that a number of known or suspect agents had attended or




taught at the same school in Hanoi.  After 1954, many of these schools and their staffs relocated in the south, thus making it possible for a recruited agent who had remained on a school’s staff to enter South Viet-Nam under already established cover.  Because of their better education, these agents were attractive to the newly created republic in need of adequately trained personnel to occupy the many unfilled positions in the government.  Although many of these agents continued to teach after their lucrative positions, often in various ministries of the South Vietnamese government.

13.  Many of the North Vietnamese agents who went south with the refugee movement found employment with United States official components.  His own employing component was not always an agent’s sole target, since such employment often increased the agent’s access to other targets of interest.  A network rolled up in 1958, for instance, had access to installations such as MAAG, USUS, possibly USOM, Ministry of Public Works, the National Bank of Viet-Nam, and the area headquarters of ARVN.  Of the eighteen reports sent by this network to Hanoi by one courier on a single occasion in 1958, only one report contained political, economic, and military information about South Viet-Nam.

14.  Some agent personnel dispatched to the field were ordered to handle an already established collection net.  Others were provided with specific leads upon which to build a collection network, and still others were left completely on their own.  They were instructed to report all contact with potential agents in the field to CNC headquarters for approval before carrying out




a recruitment.  Collection agents were recruited in the name of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, and knew the identity of the sponsoring organization.  Support agents, such as safe house keepers, live drops, etc., were usually not aware of CNC sponsorship of their activities.  They might be recruited without prior approval from CNC headquarters, but any such recruitment had to be subsequently reported to Hanoi.

Contact Bases

15.  The CNC uses a mixture of clandestine contact bases and agent networks which resemble with perhaps some modifications the CNC clandestine structure in South Viet-Nam as described above.

16.  The most important CNC field element within the region structure as given above is the contact base or station (to can-cu).  There is evidence that since 1951 the CNC has built or planned to build bases in some fifteen provinces.  Whether these bases are still in operation is impossible to determine.  The majority of the suspect or identified bases studied were located in wooded, jungle, or mountainous areas under communist control.

17.  The primary function of a CNC contact base is to act as the communications channel between CNC headquarters in Hanoi and one or more CNC agent networks in the south.  Instructions, order, messages, etc., pass from Hanoi through the base to the individual operations officer or agent handler.  Intelligence reports pass upward from the agent through the base to Hanoi.  Once information reaches the base it may be transmitted by radio or it may go to Hanoi via courier over land or sea routes.  Other functions of the base are to provide training and indoctrination, to select agents or support




personnel, to provide security to the base area and to the communications center, and to render assistance to CNC personnel arriving in or departing from South Viet-Nam.

18.  During initial stages of organization, CNC bases apparently receive fairly extensive assistance from the local Provincial Party Committee.  The base chief reportedly recruits couriers from among candidates proposed by the Provincial Committee.  Some contact bases reportedly serve as relay stations for subordinate bases whose radios have only a relative short range.  One source stated that in the event of emergency the main base whose radios have only relative short range.  One source stated that in the event of emergency the main base could contact other bases (by courier) to communicate with Hanoi.  Several sources have indicated that a CNC agent handler might use several different bases during his tour in South Viet-Nam.  In some instances, the base makes use of couriers or “liaison agents” to maintain contact with CNC intelligence nets outside the base area.  There are other instances where the agent handler travels back and forth between the operational area and the base, and in still other cases, the CNC uses a combination of these methods.

19.  Known or Suspect CNC Contact Bases, Past or Present, in South Viet-Nam53

    a.  Binh-Dinh Province:

A CNC courier operated between a CNC agent handler and agents in Nha-Trang and Saigon.  The courier contacted his handler either in the secret party installation of Hoai-Nhon District Committee or in secret zone 100 K.  The courier alleged that the secret zone had been existence for a number of years since he had asked to go there in 1956 to work for the District secretary of the party.  (DOI:  1964)54




An agent handler, not identical with the above agent handler, operated out of a contact base somewhere in Binh-Dinh Province.  He is reported to have been to this base on several occasions between 28 May and early September 1964 in order to receive directives from Hanoi, presumably by radio.  This handler was in contact with agents in Saigon before his arrest in September 1964.

    b.  Binh-Thuan Province:

A CNC agent revealed that he met a CNC operations officer three times in 1961 in the Ham-Tan forest near Phan-Thiet.  The operations officer later stated that he left the base in Binh-Thuan Province in late 1961 to go to Saigon.

A CNC operations officer or agent handler stated in 1963 that he believed there was a radio base in the Phan-Thiet area.

A defector from the CNC in August 1963 stated the CNC had established in the bottom of a boat a radio base capable of reaching Hanoi.  The boat, located off the coast near Phan-Thiet, acted as a relay point for a radio established in Saigon.

During the first six months of 1966, a CNC agent was believed to have made several visits to a possible contact base in the Phan-Ri area.  A CNC operations officer or agent handler stated in 1963 that he believed there was or might have been a radio base near Phan-Ri.

    c. Darlac Province:

In March 1962, a CNC agent, by direction of his handler, spent a week at a base where he received training and instruction.  The agent stated that he was escorted from a point on the




highway, three kilometers from the Bac-Ai resettlement, leading from Ban-Me-Thuot in the direction of Saigon.  It may have been a temporary base since hammocks were used and there were no permanent structures or a radio installation in evidence.

A CNC agent operated near Ban-Me-Thuot for a number of years.  Apparently part of his mission was to develop a CNC base somewhere in the jungles near Ban-Me-Thuot.  (DOI:  1957-1963)

    d.  Khanh-Hoa-Province:

A CNC agent indicated that during 1956-1958 his two agent handlers had said that they often went to meetings lasting several days at a place near Nha-Trang.

A CNC agent handler claimed he had contacted Hanoi in 1960 through an installation located in or near Nha-Trang.

Another agent handler spoke of a possible radio base in or near Nha-Trang.  (DOI: 1963)

    e.  Kien-Hoa Province:

A CNC agent stated on one occasion (1964) that an agent handler had borrowed his Lambretta to go to Ben-Tre to send a cable to North Viet-Nam. (Ben-Tre is the former name for Truc-Giang the present capital of Kien-Hoa Province.)

    f.  Lam-Dong Province:

A CNC operations officer stated he had operated out of the Pleiku contact base until April 1959 when he moved to the La-Hon area, Di-Linh District, Lam-Dong Province.  He operated out




of this latter base until 1961, when he was captured.

A CNC agent handler stated in 1965 he stayed at a base in Lam-Dong Province from October 1961 until March 1964.  According to the handler the base had a radio capable of reaching Hanoi.

Another agent handler reported he went to the Lam-Dong base during the first part of 1962.  He later sent his wife with three children to the base ostensibly for training in the preparation of reports.  In 1963, the handler took an agent to the base.

    g.  Ninh-Thuan Province:

A CNC agent handler identified and located one contact base near the town of Vinh-Hy.  Later, in early July 1964, the base moved from the area to Vinh-Hy to the Bac-Ai zone.  The handler was usually met at Ba-Thap and escorted to the base.  Ba-Thap is approximately eighteen kilometers north of Phan-Rang.

A CNC courier stated in 1964 that he had operated from a secret base near Vinh-Hy since 1962, although he alleged he had acted as a courier from this base only since August 1964.  He claimed that in November 1962 he was taken to what he called the “Chua Mountain Secret Zone”.  This base was reportedly located on Chua Mountain, Thanh-Hai District, Ninh-Thuan Province.  The courier also alleged that the Thuan-Bac District Committee headquarters was located in this area.

The same agent handler stated that there was a contact base at Bac-Ai about half way up the slope of Thuan Mountain, at about the 1000meter level.  Looking westward from the base it was possible to see Ro Mountain and Xenh Mountain and




the town of Krong-Pha.  The base is at the intersection of three streams.  The road to the base its level with an old cement dike on the Ta-Mao River.  The handler went to the base six times either to send reports or to receive orders from Hanoi.  The installation was divided into two areas separated by a stream:  living quarters (three huts) and an office were located in one area, while a radio building was located in the other.  According to the handler physical security of the base was excellent.  There were approximately ten soldiers armed with sub-machine guns and pistols on guard duty in the area of the living quarters.  On slopes surrounding the base there were several rows of bamboo spikes to prevent infiltration.  On the west side of the base there were no spikes but there were montagnards who kept a constant watch and acted as an alarm system in the event enemy troops approached the base.  Since the establishment of the base it had never been molested.

    h.  Phu-Bon Province:

When the above CNC agent handler arrived in South Viet-Nam in November 1963 he landed on a small air strip about one hour’s walk from the base of a mountain.  He was told that he was in the vicinity of Cheo-Reo (present day Hau-Bon).  He was then escorted on foot for about a twenty-hour walk to an area described as a general without an indication of how many stars).  The base commander gave the handler documentation, money, and instructions for his trip farther south.  The handler was accompanied from the base by ten or eleven escort agents.




    i.  Phuoc-Tuy Province:

In April 1963 a team comprising an operations officer, an agent handler (who had the mission of setting up a radio base in Saigon), a radio operator, and a cryptographer was captured by South Vietnamese authorities.  This team’s mission was (a) to establish a contact base in the BA-Ria area near Vung-Tau in Phuoc-Tuy Province, (b) to set up a “boat cell” for the purpose of transportating documents to Hanoi, and (c) to organize a courier network to carry documents and material overland to North Viet-Nam.  One courier route was to be between the Ba-Ria base and a CNC agent located in Thanh-Hoi Hamlet, Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province.  Another route was to between the base and an agent handler operating in Saigon.  The landing zone for the team was selected before the team’s departure from North Viet-Nam and was a ten kilometer stretch along the coast to Phuoc-Tuy Province reportedly under complete communist control.  It was also alleged that the Central Committee in Hanoi cabled the Ba-Ria Provincial Committee in Hanoi cabled the Ba-Ria Provincial Committee in Phuoc-Tuy to advise them of the team’s approximate date and place of arrival with the request that every assistance be given them in establishing the base in Ba-Ria.  The sequel to this abortive operation is described in detail in paragraphs 20 through 34.

    j.  Pleiku and Kontum Provinces:

A CNC agent handler stated that a CNC operations officer took him to a secret base in 1960, which he called the “Pleiku secret zone”, the base was under the direction of a new operations officer.  In 1961, he went twice to the “Pleiku Base” and in 1962 his wife was sent to the base to receive instruction in radio operations.  A CNC courier stated that his two handlers used the base




in the “Kontum area” between 1956 and 1958.  The courier had at least on one occasion gone to the “Kontum Base”.

    k.  Quang-Nam Province:

A CNC radio operator operated a radio in Da-Nang for about a year from mid-1964 to mid-1965.  The radio whose signal was strong enough to reach Hanoi was part of a “strategic intelligence cell”.

The same radio operated stated there was a base located in the mountainous area northwest of Da-Nang.  This base was apparently the residence of several couriers who carried documents to North Viet-Nam for the cell.  (DOI:  1965) this radio may have been the one captured by the United States Marines during a sweep operation on 3 February 1966.

The above CNC agent handler indicated there was a small transmitter set up in the mountainous area some five six kilometers from Nam-O.  The radio had a range of 100 kilometers and may have been used to relay information of an urgent nature to the main base at Da-Nang referred to above.  (DOI: 1965)

1.  Quang-Ngai Province:

A CNC agent handler stated in 1963 that he believed plans had been made to establish a courier land route between the Ba-Ria base in Phuoc-Tuy Province had a base in Quang-Ngai Province.

    m.  Quang-Tri-Province:

    A CNC cryptographer, member of a




team captured in 1963, stated that part of his mission was to establish a courier route between the Ba-Ria base and a contact base in Thanh-Hoi Hamelt, Trie-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province.  The cryptographer had made ten trips between January and June 1960 between the contact base in Vinh-Linh, Vinh-Linh Special Zone and Thanh-Hoi Hamelt.

A CNC courier reported in 1965 that she was responsible for transporting documents (obtained by Da-Nang) from Hue to a contact base in Cam-Lo, Quang-Tri Province.

    n.  Saigon:

A CNC agent handler who defected to South Vietnamese authorities in 1963 claimed that one of his missions was to establish a radio base in Saigon to communicate with the “main base” located in a boat off the coast of Phan-Thiet.

Another CNC agent handler captured in 1963 had the mission of setting up a radio base in Saigon for communications with Hanoi.

A CNC agent claimed that another agent had been charge of several agents and a radio base in Saigon.  The former agent claimed the other had stated in December 1963 and in January 1964 that he was in charge of a radio base.

A CNC agent handler reportedly had a continuing mission between 1960 and 1963 to establish a radio in the Saigon area.  The initial plan to set up a radio in Saigon in 1960 was compromised.  Subsequent attempts to set up a radio after that date were apparently unsuccessful.




   o.  Binh-Long and Binh-Duong Province:

A CNC agent handler stated in 1963 that he believed the CNC maintained a base somewhere between War Zone C and War Zone D for contact with Hanoi by land.

The Keystone Contact Base55

20.  Quite possibly as the result of the capture, in early 1963, of an entire team whose mission had been to set up a contact base in South Viet-Nam, another group of four CNC officers was formed as a replacement in March 1964.  Following training, the group was made ready to leave Hanoi in late May 1964 for an assignment similar to the one above, i.e., establishment of a contact base which we here call “Keystone”.  Accompanied by their baggage which included radio equipment, money, arms, and forged documents, the four officers proceeded to Ha-Tinh in Nghe-An Province where they remained for two days before going to the coast to board a boat for the journey south.56

21.  The boat with its crew and the four CNC officers left the CUA-Hoi estuary and headed southwards.  After sighting the South Vietnamese coast, the boat followed the coastline along a course known to have been used in other maritime infiltration operations.  By mid-June 1964, the boat had arrived at the predetermined landing site where the four officers disembarked and equipment was unloaded.  The boat left immediately for its return trip to North Viet-Nam.

22. After going ashore, the radio operator, in accordance with instructions issued by the CNC before sailing, made several (unsuccessful) attempts to contact Hanoi.57 After two days, the group chief gave orders to hide the equipment and



CNC contact basre South Viet-Nam


then by means not fully explained established contact with elements of the local Province Party Committee.  The Committee provided a guard to protect the group and to help in transporting the group’s equipment to its initial base site in a secure selected by the Province Committee and the base chief.58 The specific location of the Keystone contact base had apparently been selected in Hanoi; however, there is no explanation as to what process or criteria Hanoi used to select this particular spot.  As is true with most know contact bases in South Viet-Nam, Keystone is located in an area under communist control.

23.  The original Keystone base complement included a base chief, an operations officer, a radio operator, and a cryptographer, in addition to the security guard provided by the Province Committee.  By 1966, the base complement had grown to twenty-four and included the base chief, a political officer, a radio section, cryptography section, a medical unit, and three agent control sections.  At present all elements have security guards, two in most instances, furnished by the Provincial Committee (possibly by the Security Section).  Food and medicine are obtained locally by individual members.  New personnel arrive from Hanoi either by boat, landing at different places along the coast, or by crossing the Ben-Hai River and rhe Demilitarized Zone.  Those who enter routes to the nearest large city where they take commercial transportation – airplane or bus – to the general area of operations.  On occasion, some personnel use CNC controlled safe houses as resting places during their travel.  Apparently, the in filtering personnel are not informed of the base’s exact location, but are given directions as to how contact is to be made with a base representative.  New arrivals bring with them a limited amount of




supplies, such as radio parts, as well as funds.  These supplies and money are turned over to the base chief.  For security reasons, the base chief, rather than hold the money one place, divides it among base personnel for safekeeping.  Each person is responsible for the money in his possession.  Usually it is buried and the base chief informed of the burial site.  All funds are returnable to the base chief on demand.  The specific uses of the funds are not known, but apparently the base chief is held responsible for accounting for all expenditures.

24.  In order to preserve security the several base sections are physically separated from each other.  For example, the radio operator and the transmitter (s) are in one hamlet and the cryptography section in another. The base chief is located with the cryptographers.  The three agent control sections are in different locations.

25.  All personnel at the base, with the exception of the base chief and female personnel, have personal weapons.

26.  The multiple roles of the base chief include leadership and direction of the entire base and coordination of all activities of the various elements; he acts as courier between separated elements and leads political discussions during monthly party meetings.  He is the only person at the base who has full knowledge of the base’s operational assignment, its objectives and missions, its area of operations, its means of contact with other CNC bases or with agent networks supported by the base, and the means of contacting the Provincial Committee.  The base chief is undoubtedly the best trained and most experienced individual at the base and is apparently the only one trained in document photography




and secret writing.

27.  The details of the role and function of the Keystone base’s political officer are unknown.  For a short period of time he acted as base chief in the interim between the death of the original base chief and the arrival of the replacement.  In view of his title, he probably has a party ideological function and responsibility.

28.  The full responsibilities and activities of the three agent control sections are unknown.  It is known that each section maintains contact by courier with agents operating outside the area.  The size of these agent mechanisms is not known.

29.  Couriers of the Keystone base, usually female, are assigned to the agent control sections.  Presumably following a prearranged contact plan and schedule the couriers travel between the section and the base area of operations and areas in which the section’s networks and agents operate.  The couriers carry either forged documentation prepared by the CNC before infiltration, or genuine documents acquired in false identity from local South Vietnamese authorities on the basis of cover stories or other means.  From other operations, it is known that courier contacts with agents and agent networks are usually made either through a system of dead drops or by direct contact with other couriers.

30.  After receiving a report, the section courier delivers it to the section chief who in turn hands the report to the cryptographer for encoding.  The cryptographer takes the encoded document to the radio operator for transmission directly to CNC headquarters in Hanoi.



Intelligence Flow


31.  The report received by the courier is already partially encoded in keeping with standard CNC procedure and practice.  For operational security, each agent handler, uses different code systems, to hide the identities of target personalities, reporting agents, target areas, and other significant operational data.

32.  Incoming messages from CNC headquarters are treated in a reverse manner.

33.  In the radio section in addition to the radio operator, there is a trained radio technician.  Each knows enough of the other’s work to operate in emergencies as the other’s substitute.  The initial single radio of the Keystone base has now been supplemented with a second set that was in filtered from home for back-up purposes.

34.  As illustrated in paragraphs 20-33 above, the Keystone base team, which we believe to be typical of the two-dozen odd in South Viet-Nam, serves primarily as a radio link between agent networks and CNC headquarters.  Trained in standard operational security procedures, the base’s personnel practice compartmentation of functions and information, thus limiting the knowledge each member has of the total activities of the base.  Only the base chief is aware of all aspects of the base’s responsibilities and duties, and each six months prepares a summary of the base’s activities for transmission to headquarters in Hanoi.

Agent Net Operations

35.  Described below to illustrate the operational techniques and practices of a CNC unit is an agent net, called for convenience the



Purple Network


“Purple Net”.  Until its compromise and destruction in mid-1965 it was located in a major South Vietnamese city.  One noted that the Purple Net differed from the Keystone Contact Base primarily in not having its own medical, supply and guard facilities, and not having a logistical support function to other elements of the CNC apparatus.  In most other respects it is believed to be typical in functioning and organization of a net subordinated to a contact base.  In other words, most of the agent nets in South Viet-Nam are subordinated to contact bases whose electrical communications are situated in Viet-Cong safe areas.

36.  The original Purple Net was composed of an agent handler and two agents.  Initially its only means of communication with higher echelons of the apparatus was by a courier system, but later a radio operator/cryptographer was assigned, probably because its mission had come to include a requirement to report advance information on bombing missions launched against North Vietnamese targets from the air base outside the city.

37.  Among the tasks of the net were to report:

    a.  Advance notice of U.S. and South Vietnamese bombing and naval shelling missions;

    b.  Strength, disposition and unit strength of U.S. South Vietnamese military forces in the area;

    c.  Plans and amounts of U.S. military and economic aid to South Viet-Nam;

    d.  Details on the local air base, including types and numbers of planes.




38.  There was no overlap of agent handlers, the predecessor having left two weeks before the arrival of his replacement of specific instructions from CNC headquarters.  Directed to return to a contact base, the earlier agent hander vanished from our view, although there is some indication that he was assigned as agent handler in another South Vietnamese city.

39.  Shortly before the change in agent handlers, a courier, operating between the net and CNC headquarters, was arrested by the South Vietnamese authorities.  Probably as a direct result of this casualty, the CNC ordered a change of agent handlers.  Before the change was effected, however, a senior CNC official, apparently an inspector, in filtered South Viet-Nam and made a review of the net’s security.  Finding no further compromises, and perhaps satisfied with the operational security of the net’s courier system, which included headquarters, the inspecting officer did not order any change in the status of the radio operator-cryptographer or the agents but gave final approval to the dispatch of the new agent handler and the continuation of the net’s agent activities.

40.  Several years earlier, after fifteen month’s intensive training, the new agent handler had infiltered South Viet-Nam, where he was to establish a new agent net in Saigon.  For unknown reasons, he never reached that city, but he remained at a CNC contact base for approximately two years without a specific operational assignment before he returned to Hanoi.  Following three month’s training he again made preparations to enter South Viet-Nam, this time to join the Purple Net.  During this second infiltration trip south through the Demilitarized Zone, the new agent handler was guided by several persons, apparently




members if local guerrilla units.  After his arrival the new agent handler met the radio operator/cryptographer and the two agents, using prearranged contact and signal plans prepared by the earlier agent handler, who had arrived back in Hanoi.  The CNC had radioed the radio operator/cryptographer the time and place of the meeting with the new agent handler.  For the two agents, the new handler placed written meeting instructions, and the agent handler, using recognition signals, finally accosted him near his home.  To all he introducted himself in alias, identified himself as the new agent handler, reviewed instructions on the objectives and reporting requirements, and established future contact arrangements.  These included the use of dead drops, signals to indicate servicing of dead drops, recognition signals for direct contact, and scheduled regular meetings with the individual members of the net.

41.  In addition to the scheduled meetings, any member of the net could initiate contact with the agent handler via the dead drops.  None, however, knew the agent handler’s true name or residence.  Only the agent handler, who knew the names and addresses of the net’s members, could make direct contact in cases of extreme urgency.

42.  The agent handler had no known occupational cover while directing the agent net.  He had a limited amount of CNC forged documentation for his stay in the city, and cover stories for both his infiltration movements and his presence in the city.  He apparently had no cover story for his meetings with the agents.  He used on cover story for his meetings with the agents.  He used an alias for his contacts with the agents and a second alias for communications sent to CNC headquarters.  Communications received from headquarters identified




him by a third name.  At no time, apparently, did he ever use his true name.

43.  The radio operator/cryptographer, who preceded the new handler by several months, also infiltered overland across rhe DMZ.  His route was very similar to the one later taken by the agent handler, and both may have used the same guides and facilities.  The final leg of the radio operator/cryptographer’s trip was also by bus.  The CNC had furnished the radio operator/cryptographer several sets of forged documents, some for use during the infiltration and others for use in establishing residence in his target city.

44.  The radio operator/cryptographer’s primary function was to maintain radio contact between the Purple Net and CNC headquarters.  Although the serviced the agent dead drops in the interval between agent handlers, the radio operator/cryptographer had no specific agent handling responsibilities in the existing net.  The CNC, had however, anticipated the possibility of his becoming an agent handler and had instructed him to spot and assess potential agents in preparation for forming his own agent net.  A secondary mission was the acquisition of samples of documents, signatures, and seals used by the South Vietnamese authorities in the area.

45.  For cover, the radio operator/cryptographer was employed and later took over the




ownership of a bicycle repair shop.  The shop had been purchased by the predecessor agent handler in partnership with another individual, also with a CNC relationship, the details of which are unknown.  (He may have been a support agent).  The shop provided the cover for the contacts between the radio operator/cryptographer and the agent handler.  Incoming and outgoing messages, concealed in a matchbox or cigarette package, were passed during these meetings.

46.  The Purple Net’s transmitter was hidden in the radio operator/cryptographer’s room.  The receiver, a widely used commercial multiband receiver, a widely used commercial multiband receiver, sat openly on his desk, where the operator also coded or decoded his messages.  The messages also contained an internal code, used and known only by the agent handler, to conceal identities, places and other key phrases and words.

47. For emergency use, in addition to the net’s radio, the agent handler had access to a CNC contact base a moderate distance from the target city.  A second emergency means was a small transmitter on a river boat.  Courier contact with CNC headquarters was used for the forwarding of documents, photographs, and other items not suitable for radio transmission.

48.  Agent no.1, recruited locally by the earlier agent handler, was a non-commissioned officer in the South Vietnamese armed forces and was assigned to a Corps Headquarters.  His primary mission was to obtain documents and information on the strengths and plans of the United States South Vietnamese military services assigned in the vicinity.

49.  Agent no.2 had been recruited in North Viet-Nam shortly after the 1954 armistice




and had been trained in part by a presumed Chinese communist.  Because of his Chinese origins, this agent’s initial mission in South Viet-Nam had been to report on the Chinese community in the Saigon area.  Apparently he had failed in this mission and, as a consequence, had lain dormant for approximately ten years, during which time he moved to several South Vietnamese cities.  The CNC followed his movements until, on CNC instructions, the Purple Net’s first agent handler reestablished contact with him and assigned him the mission of obtaining information on the strength, equipment, disposition, and plans of American units from the hotel restaurant where he was employed.  This agent seldom reported any information.

50.  The Purple Net’s only existing emergency procedure, which was known only to the agent handler and may have applied to him exclusively, was to withdraw, if necessary, to the nearby CNC contact base.  There is no indication of any contact or capability for contact with other CNC nets or elements in the area.  Neither the two infiltrated CNC officers in the area.  Neither the two infiltrated CNC officers nor the two agents are known to have had any contacts, nor emergency plans for contacts, with the local guerrilla elements.


51.  In reviewing the CNC’s operational methods and techniques in the foregoing example of an agent network, certain characteristics are evident that can be attributed generally to any CNC directed network:

    a.  The CNC agent handler, is a military officer, with previous guerrilla experience in South Viet-Nam.




    b.  The agent handler is thoroughly trained in intelligence tradecraft and intelligence technology, e.g., use of chemical inks and photography.

    c.  CNC personnel follow the concepts and precepts of operational security, using techniques such as dead drops, recognition signals, courier chains.

    d.  The agent handler is the only individual in the element with full and detailed knowledge of the element’s mission, personnel, activities, emergency plans, contact arrangements, etc.

    e.  The agent handler uses an individual code to conceal from other unit members key and identifying words and phrases in his communications with CNC headquarters.

    f.  CNC units have several methods of communicating with CNC headquarters in Hanoi.

    g.  Couriers are used extensively by CNC elements.

    h.  Couriers moving between North and South Viet-Nam are recruited and trained in North Viet-Nam.  Other couriers for use in South Viet-Nam exclusively, e.g., for carrying reports between dead drops, may be recruited and trained locally.

    i.  The CNC has established a network of contact bases in South Viet-Nam to service and direct agent nets.

    j.  The use of a radio by an agent net may be limited to those nets reporting information in which the time factor is significant.




    k.  Infiltrating CNC personnel use forged documents different for their movements from those used in their target areas.

    l.  Infiltering personnel move furtively to the nearest large city in the infiltration area, and then use public transportation to the target area.

    m.  Local guerrilla elements are used to support and guard CNC elements, and as guides during infiltration.

    n.  There are indications that the CNC prefers and may focus on the acquisition of documentary information as sources of intelligence.

    o.  The CNC is in contact, by unknown means, with guerrilla elements in South Viet-Nam, and may call upon them for assistance and support.

52.  The descriptions and comments above (paragraphs 35-51) refer and apply only to CNC activity in South Viet-Nam.  The techniques and methods used by the CNC personnel in other countries are unknown.  We suspect that similar pattern is to be fund in Laos.


53.  In their pattern of communications, the CNC adheres strongly to the concepts of compartmentation and operational security.  Reflecting their training, base chiefs and agent handlers use various clandestine techniques; e.g., dead drops, code, courier chains, in their communications with CNC headquarters, contact bases and individual agents.  All CNC operational elements appear to have more than one channel of




communications to fill their communications needs.  All communications channels are designed to protect identities, targets, activities, etc., or any given contact base or agent network.


54.  The CNC couriers operating between North Viet-Nam and South Viet-Nam are usually women from North Viet-Nam, selected and trained in North Viet-Nam by the CNC.  The northern cities of South Viet-Nam, e.g., Quang-Tri, Hue, and Da-Nang, are apparently the major assembly sites for infiltration and exfiltration, usually done by boat.  The couriers apparently do not know the details of specific agent or base operations and probably do not have any direct contact with base chiefs and agent handlers.  From the available information, this group of couriers, operating between the two Viet-Nams, apparently contact only other couriers, or services dead drops.  We deduce from one instance in which one year that the, CNC maintains a limited corps of couriers for cross-border activity.

55.  Couriers used solely in South Viet-Nam may be CNC trained personnel infiltrated for the purpose, or individuals recruited locally by the agent handler or base chief with the permission of CNC headquarters.  The available information indicates that these couriers also have limited knowledge of that operational details of the specific CNC element they are involved in.  They, too, are usually limited to servicing dead no need for direct contact with agent handlers, base chiefs or agents.  In one instance in South Viet-Nam, a locally recruited courier practiced pick-ups and deliveries, making the appropriate




servicing signs, before being entrusted with an operational delivery.  His assignment was to take a report from a dead drop to a contact base.

56.  Although there have been allegations, there is no firm evidence of CNC use of foreign personnel, civilian or diplomatic, as couriers for intelligence activities.  There is some evidence of ICC personnel and planes being used for the transmission of intelligence, but the specific role of the CNC in this activity is unknown.

Dead Drops

57.  In all known instances of CNC operations in South Viet-Nam, dead drops were included as part of the communications network.  Selected by the agent handler or base chief, the site used varies in type.  One apparent major criterion in the selection of sites is its easy and general concealment area are frequently used.  Other sites used have been road markers, gate posts, fence posts, utility poles, etc.  Agent handlers use separate drop sites for different agents.  In one case, two dead drops, to be used in alternate months, were used for communications between an agent handler and a single agent.


58.  Signals of the chalk-mark variety are always used to indicate a drop has been loaded of emptied.  Circles, crosses, and dashes are examples of the signals used.  They are placed at the site of the drop, i.e., the road marker, fence post, or gate post, under which the message has been placed.  A completed transaction may be indicated by two




signals, e.g., a dash under a circle, one placed by the deliverer and the other by the recipient.

Similar signals, the dash, circle, or cross, have been used to indicate the desire or need for a personal meeting between the agent handler and the agent.  These signals are placed on a predetermined utility pole, house fence, or street sign on normal routes taken by the individuals in their regular daily activities.  The meetings would then be held at a predetermined place on a prearranged schedule.

Some instances of the use of safety signals for personal meetings of CNC personnel are known.  These signals are used to indicate the absence or presence of some danger.  According to CNC training doctrine, such signals are required to be positive actions by the individuals involved. In one known instance, the safety/danger signal was the specific arrangement of flower pots on a window ledge.

Secret Writing

59.  All CNC agent handlers and base chiefs are trained in the use of secret inks and secret writing techniques.  Infiltering CNC personnel in South Viet-Nam are known on occasion to have carried secret writing equipment.  Secret inks have also been made in South Viet-Nam by CNC personnel from locally and readily available materials, such as Chinese drugs.  In one instance, a message in secret ink was written on the back of a label on a festival cake.  Another time, a message was written on the paper wrapping of a package.





60. CNC radio equipment varies in size, power capabilities, and country of origin.  Chinese and American manufactured equipment are known to have been used in training radio operators.  In one contact base, infiltered American manufactured equipment was used as the primary radio, and a Chinese manufactured radio as the backup equipment.  Both used hand-cranked generators as power supplies.  In another instance, the receiver used by an agent net was a battery-powered multiband receiver, actually purchased in South Viet-Nam.

In the known cases of radio being used by agent nets, continuous wave (CW) transmission was used.  There is some indication that the CNC headquarters may also use one-way voice radio in contacting personnel in South Viet-Nam.


61. Code materials for use in transmissions between CNC headquarters and its installations in South Viet-Nam are brought into South Viet-Nam by infiltering personnel.  Agent handlers and base chiefs carry additional identifying intelligence data, e.g., South Vietnamese personalities, provinces, cities.  One agent’s codes were prepared by CNC headquarters, before his infiltration into South Viet-Nam.  In another instance the code (composed of a letter and number combination; e.g., G-14, T-22) was contained on 35mm. film and required an ordinary magnifying glass to read it.





62.  Agent handlers and base chiefs are trained in the use of cameras, particularly for photographing documents.  Normally available commercial cameras, such as the Pentax are used by CNC personnel during their training periods and operational activities.  Presumably locally purchased film is used.  There is no indication that any special equipment, cameras, film, or stands, have been used in document photography.  In one instance, there is an indication that the agent hander did not develop his film, but sent the exposed film via courier to North Viet-Nam for processing by CNC headquarters.  In another instance, the film was developed and trimmed for easy concealment while being carried in South Viet-Nam.  In the latter case, it is unknown if the film itself was to be carried to North Viet-Nam or its contents, the report of an agent handler, was to be radioed north.  In all known cases of the use of photography by the CNC, black and white film was used.

There is no evidence that the CNC uses the microdot process or any other photographic reduction process.

Accomodation Addresses

63.  There is only a limited amount of information on the CNC use of accommodation addresses.  Allegedly the CNC use of accommodation addresses.  Allegedly the CNC has used accommodation addresses in third countries such as France, Hong Kong, and Cambodia, particularly in the period immediately after 1954 Geneva Agreements.  Letters and post cards mailed to and from these addresses relayed messages between the CNC or its predecessor organizations and its personnel in




South Viet-Nam.  There is no information concerning CNC use of foreign installations in South Viet-Nam as accommodation addresses for intelligence activities.

Concealment Devices

64. There is little information on the CNC use of concealment devices.  Concealment is a subject of study in the training programs of agent handlers and base chiefs.  Apparently the CNC depends on the ability and ingenuity of its personnel to hide or disguise their messages and material.  For example, one agent radio was simply locked in a desk drawer in the radio operator’s room.  In another instance, a number of individual microfilm frames were hidden in the bottom of a pack of locally purchased cigarettes.  On a boat being used for infiltration, a bases’s radio equipment was apparently boxed and stowed with other equipment and stores.  There is no evidence of the use of specially prepared concealment devices.

65.  In its channels and patterns of communications, the CNC employs techniques, methods and equipment common to and traditionally used by other intelligence services to conceal or disguise its intelligence activities.  In its training programs, the CNC emphasizes the subject of maintaining the security of operations.  AS in other intelligence services, this emphasis is to ensure a minimum impact on operational activities in the event an element of the apparatus is arrested or compromised.







A review of available information has revealed the identity of some 130 staff employees of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu.  Except for the director and deputy director of the CNC, which appear at the head of the list, the remaining names have been listed in alphabetical order.  Where possible the Vietnamese name is followed by the telegraphic code.  Unless otherwise noted information is not later than 1964.


Alias:  PHUONG.  His name has also appeared as LE-TRUNG-NGHIA and LE-MINH-HGHIA.  Born about 1916 in Bac-Ninh, Ha-Bac Province, North Viet-Nam; married and has several children; the youngest a boy was born in 1958; his wife works at the 108th Military Hospital, Tran Hung Dao Street, Hanoi; speaks fluent French.  Home address; lives in a duplex, two-story house on Ly Nam De Street about a half mile from the Cot Co Compound.  (Duplex is shared with TRAN-HIEU, q.v.)

1935:  Law student in Hanoi University; an official in the Indochinese Communist Party headquarters in Hanoi; jailed as a leader of subversive activities.




1936 – 1944:  No information available on this period; dare of entrance into army unknown.

1945:  Secretary to General VO-NGHUYEN-CIAP.

1946:  Headed the staff of PHAN-ANH, then Minister of National Defense.

1947:  Assignment unknown.

1948:  Chief of the Cuc Quan-Bao – Military Intelligence Agency of the PAVN General Staff.

1949: Executive officer in the PAVN High Command.

1950 – July 1957:  Chief of the Cuc Quan-Bao; promoted to colonel (dare unknown).

August 1957 – November 1961:  Assistant chief of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, PAVN General Staff.

1959 – 1960:  Served one term as a deputy in the DRVN National Assembly.

November 1961 – present:  Director of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu; replaced TRAN-HIEU (q.v.)

NGUYEN-VU (NGUYEENX VUX) Lieutenant Colonel

Born about 1918 in North Viet-Nam; graduated from high school; able to read, write, and speak fluent French; married.

During the Resistance War (1945 – 1954) he was in charge of intelligence for the Communication Service (sic) in the Viet-Bac area.

1954 (end):  Was a section chief in the Nha Lien-Lac; went south to stabilize the organization of




Various military intelligence sections and notified the local Vietnamese communist leadership of the above policy; remained in the south for about three months.

August 1957 – April 1962:  Chief of the Foreign Intelligence Office of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu.

Early 1959:  Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

April 1962:  Appointed deputy chief of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu in place of PHAN-BINH (q.v.).  [Comment:  In recent unconfirmed information (1967), the deputy chief of the CNC has been referred to as LTC TU-VAN (Tuw Vawn) who is reportedly also chief of the Operations Division (sic).  The deputy chief has also been referred to as LTC THU-VAN (Thds Vawn).  Both names may be aliases used by LTC NGUYEN-VU or TU-VAN may be aliases used or misspelling of THU VAN who may be identical with LTC NGUYEN-NHU-VAN, formerly head of the Internal Intelligence Office and who, if these are the same person, may have become deputy chief of the CNC in place of NGUYEN-VU.  There is also a LTC PHU-VAN (quite probably identical with NGUYEN-NHU-VAN) who was formerly the chief of the Internal Intelligence Office – before July 1962; PHU VAN went to the USSR for intelligence training in July 1962; he remained in the Soviet Union until about the end of 1963.]


Described as an instructor who gave instruction in intelligence during a period of two months either from November 1959 to 1960 or from November 1964 to March 1965.




TU-ANH (TUWS ANH) Lieutenant Colonel

Described as chief of the Training Office (date of information:  1967).


A civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; born about 1928 in Nam0Dinh Province, North Viet-Nam; married; lives in CNC quarters in Cot Co Compound; family apparently does not live with him.


Crewman in a maritime infiltration cell of Vinh-Linh Contact Station; born about 1932 in Tan-An Village, Hai-Lang District, Quang-Tri Province; married; wife lives in Tan-An Village, Hai-Land District, Quang-Tri Province.

BICH (BICHS) Senior Sergeant

Fiscal Assistant in the Administrative Section; born about 1935; married; lives in CNC quarters in Cot Co Compound; family lives elsewhere.


In 1961 the position of Political Officer of the CNC was held by LE-BINH.  He had been political officer of Regiment 812 in 1950 and later was chief of the Military Proselyting Bureau (Cuc Binh-Van) of the General Political Directorate of the PAVN General Staff.  There is no information as to whether he still hold this position.





Crewman in maritime infiltration cell of Vinh-Linh Contract Station; born about 1936 in My-Thuy Village, Hai-Lang District, Quang-Tri Province; member of a youth group in My-Thuy Village; his finance is living in My-Thuy Village.


Former member of the Party Politbureau; appointed deputy chief of the CNC in November 1961; four months later he went on sick leave; in early 1962 he was transferred to the Unification Committee at the Lao-Dong Party level.

CAT (possibly GAT) Senior Captain

Alias:  THAI.  Planning Assistant in the Plans Section, International Intelligence Office; born about 1927 in Hanoi; married; his mother lives with his wife in Hanoi; during the Resistance War, CAT worked in intelligence in the Hanoi suburbs.

CHAN (CHAN) Senior Sergeant

Security Assistant in Administrative Section; born about 1938.


An assistant in the Foreign Intelligence Office; born about 1921; married and has one child born in 1960; his wife works as a typist in the Typing Group of the Administration Section; they live in




CNC quarters on the south side of the Cot Co Compound; former law student, reads and writes French and English well; since the Resistance War, CHAU has worked in intelligence and has gained much experience; considered intelligent; in 1957, selected to become the assistance to the chief of the Foreign Intelligence Office; in 1960, he was assigned to accompany the Minister of Culture, NGUYEN-KHANH-TOAN, to India and Japan.


Possibly in the Training Office since he was called an instructor; possibly identical with the CHI who replaced NGUYEN-VAN-THANH in the Internal Intelligence Office in January 1964.  Since THANH was a senior captain, CHI may have held the same rank.  In early 1964, CHI trained an agent and prepared the latter for his mission in South Viet-Nam.


In 1960, CHUONG was deputy chief of the Shipping Agency (in Haiphong), a subordinate division of the Maritime Transport Service, Ministry of Communications and Transportation; upon several occasions CHOUNG had been seen in CNC headquarters where he had gone to pick up his salary; in 1954, CHUONG had been chief of the Military Intelligence Section in Saigon.

CU (CUV) Major

Described as a visitor from CNC headquarters who lectured in courses given by the First Special Operations (“Sapper”) Training Battalion at the Phung Garrison, Dan-Phuong District, Ha-Dong




Province and Le-Xa Village, Kinh-Mon District, Hai-Duong Province.  (Date of information; April 1965).  CU’s position in the CNC in unknown.


Described as one of two secret writing experts in the Documentation Section of the Technical Office.

DANH Senior Captain

An instructor in the Training Office.


A civilian employee described as an administrative cadre and secret writing specialist; known to have trained an agent in secret writing in July/August 1962.


Deputy chief and acting chief of the Combat Intelligence Office; born about 1923; married; during the Resistance War served in a combat unit of the 4th Military Region; in 1957, transferred to the CNC as deputy chief of the Combat Intelligence Office; in July 1962, when the chief, Major VIET, went to the Soviet Union for intelligence training, DINH became acting chief.

DOAI (DOAIF) Captain

Assistant in the Training and Family Management




Section, Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1929 in Hanoi; married; lives with his family in Hanoi; has a seventh grade education.


From August 1957 until December 1961, deputy chief of the Foreign Intelligence Office; in January 1962, became chief of the Foreign Intelligence Office.

DOANH Senior Lieutenant

Described as an intelligence instructor; born about 1925 possibly in Nam-Dinh Province; formerly Political Officer of the Red River Right Bank Military Region; in the beginning of 1961, transferred to the CNC to work as an instructor; married; his wife and children live in Nam Dinh; he lived at the BOQ in the Cot Co Compound.


Gave instruction in radio communications from September 1964 to March 1965.




DU (ZUS) Senior Captain

An assistant in the Training and Family Management Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1929 in Hoa-Binh Province; married; he and his family live in Hanoi; has a seventh grade education; in mid-1962 transferred from an unidentified unit in Hoa-Binh Province to the CNC.


Typist in the CNC (probably in the Typing Group of the Administrative Section); born about 1935; married; her husband worked on the General Staff; she lived in the Cua-Nam Quarters, Cot Co Street, Hanoi.


An assistant in the Training and Family Management Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1927; married; his family lives in Nghe-AN Province; has a 6th grade education; military personnel formerly assigned to the 4th Military Region; transferred to the CNC in late 1960.


May be in charge of the Radio Storage and Repair Shop.


Typist in the CNC (probably in the Typing Group of the Administrative Section) born about 1933; married; she is the wife of CAO PHA (q.v.).





Typist in the CNC (probably in the Typing Group of the Administrative Section) born about 1931; married; she is the wife of Captain HONG-CHAU (q.v.).


Aliases:  HOANG-MY, HOANG-PHUC, HOANG_VAN_XA, NGUYEN TRIEU PHONG, true name reported to be NGUYEN-VAN-SON (unconfirmed); born about 1908 in Phuc-Lam, My-Duc District, Ha-Dong Province; studied at the Ecole Practique Industrielle in Hanoi; since 1930 or 1932, HIEU has been a member of the Communist Party.

1936:  The French deported HIEU to Madagascar.  (LE GIAN, who later became director of the Directorate General of Public Security, was apparently deported to Madagascar at the same time.)

1943 – 1945:  Allied forces freed HIEU and GIAN; HIEU parachuted into Truc-Son area, Ha-Dong Province where he helped organize Viet-Minh espionage service in Ha-Dong, Phu-Ly Son-Tay, and Ninh-Binh; OSS gave HIEU six months training in espionage.

1945:  Temporarily replaced CHI-DINH-XUONG as director of Viet-Minh security for North Viet-Nam. (Unconfirmed)

Before 19 December 1946:  Described as head of the Investigation Bureau (sic) of the Cong-An (Viet-Minh security) (sic).




1946 – 1949:  Head of the Bureau of Special Affairs (responsible for espionage and counterespionage) of the Directorate General of Public Security.

1949:  Head of newly created Nha Lien-Lac (Liaison Directorate), strategic intelligence service subordinate to the Prime Minister’s Office.

1950: Nha Lien-Lac dissolved; HIEU reassigned to the Directorate General of Public Security, Chief of espionage section and deputy director of Public Security.

1951:  The Nha Lien-Lac re-established; HIEU appointed as director.

Mid-1957:  HIEU became director of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu, newly created from the merger of the Nha Lien-Lac and the Cuc Quan-Bao.

1959:  Promoted to senior colonel and assigned a new cover name:  HOANG-PHUC (HOANGF PHUCS).

November 1961:  Removed from the position of director of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu and reassigned as deputy chief of the People’s Supreme Organ of Control.  Concurrently he was assigned to the Central Agencies Party Committee (sic) as secretary.


Senior Captain

Alias:  TIEN; described as a planning assistant in the Plans Section of the Internal Intelligence




Office; born about 1927 in Thai Binh Province; married’ lives in the Cot Co Compound; has a 7th grade education.

HOA (HOAF) Captain

Described as an assistant in the Operational Control Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1923 in the western region of South Viet-Nam; single; has a 7th grade education; went to North Viet-Nam in 1954; was assigned to the 338th Division; in 1961 transferred to the CNC; reportedly does ot like the intelligence business; had no previous experience in intelligence.


Civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; chief of the Technical Office, CNC, since 1957; born about 1918 in Quang-Binh Province; married; lives with his wife in Hanoi; has a great deal of experience with radios ever since the Resistance War; is considered to be an expert.


Civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; conducted a week’s training course in photography in 1961; described as a technical and photographic expert (in 1962); in 1967, described as in charge of photography in the Technical Office.





Civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; specialist in forging and making false identity cards; born about 1930 in Nghe-An Province; lives in BOQ in Cot Co Compound.

HONG (HOONGF?) Senior Lieutenant

Described in 1967 as chief of maritime infiltration group (subordinate to the CNC) located in Vinh City in Nghe-An Province.


Described as an instructor in order of battle of the South Vietnamese armed forces; possibly assigned to the Training Office.

HUNG First Lieutenant

Before 1962, he was deputy to First Lieutenant SON, chief of a land infiltration cell in the Vinh-Linh contact station; in September 1962, he became chief of a maritime communication cell in Vinh Linh; born about 1932 in Cam-Lo District, Quang-Tri Province; married; his wife and child live in the Ho-Xa village; Vinh-Linh.

HUONG Senior Captain

An assistant in the Combat Intelligence Office; born about 1923; lives in BOQ in Cot Co Compound.




KHANG Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Training and Family Management Section, Internal Intelligence Office.

KHANH Senior Captain

Assistant in the Training and Family Management Section, Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1926; married; lives in Hanoi; assigned to the CNC in 1960; did not particularly like his work.





Chief of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1923 in Nam-Dinh or Thai-Binh Province; married; family lives in Hanoi; during the Resistance War, he was assistant director of the Information Office (sic) of the Viet-Minh 3rd region; in 1961, he became the assistant chief of the Internal Intelligence Office, and in July 1962, he was made the chief of that office.

KIEU (KIEEU) Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Communications Section of the Internal  Intelligence Office; born about 1920 in Thanh-Hoa Province; married; his family lives in Thanh-Hoa Province; he lives




in Cot Co Compound; has a 7th grade education; during the resistance, he worked as a liaison officer for the Military Intelligence Section (not further identified).


Described as an instructor in photography wo gave a course in photography from September 1959 to June 1960.

LAM (LAAM) Senior Captain 

Described as a visitor from the CNC who lectured in courses given by the First Special Operations Training Battalion at the Phun Garrison, Dan-Phuong District, Ha-Dong Province and Le-Xa Village, Kinh-Mon District, Hai-Duong Province; his position in the CNC is not known.  (Date of information:  1965)

HOANG-LAM First Lieutenant  

Gave instruction in cryptography; had been a cryptographer since the resistance; described as an able officer.

MAC-LAM Captain

Described as an assistant in the Research Office of the CNC; lives in the BOQ in the Cot Co Compound.




LANG Captain

Described as an assistant in the Operations Control Section, Internal Intelligence Office.

LE (LEEJ) Captain or Senior Lieutenant

Described by the same source as an assistant in the Communications Section and also as an assistant in the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1933 in Quang-Nam Province; single; has 7th grade education; lives in the Cot Co Compound.  


Described in 1967 as an adjutant in a maritime communications cell located in Vinh City, Nghe-An Province.


Described in 1963 as a cryptographer in the Vinh Linh Contact Station; born about 1939 in Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; does not like being a cryptographer.


Gave instruction in cryptography in 1961 and from September 1964 to March 1965; a northerner born about 1926; fought during the Resistance War.




Long First Lieutenant

Described as a CNC employee; born about 1929 in Thua-Thien Province; has a scar on his left arm which he received in an ambush by RVN rangers; married; his wife is DUONG THI TAM (q.v.).

LONG Senior Lieutenant

Described as chief of Land Infiltration Cell No.2 of the Vinh Linh Contact Station.

LUONG (LW0WNGJ) Senior Captain

Described as a planning assistant in the Plans Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; may be identical with LUONG who gave a month’s instruction in intelligence either during the period 1959 to 1960 or September 1964 to March 1965.       

LUYEN (LUYEENS) Senior Captain

Described as a planning assistant in the Plans Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1926 in Hanoi; married; lives in Hanoi, has 7th grade education.


Crewmen in maritime infiltration cell of Vinh Linh Contact Station; born about 1919 in




Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; his wife and children live in Thanh-Hoi Village, Qung-Tri Province; member of the Village, Quang-Tri Province; member of the village committee of Trieu-Phong District.

MAI (MAI) Senior Captain

Described as a visitor from the CNC who lectured in courses given by the First Special Operations Training Battalion at the Phung Garrison, Dan-Phuong District, Ha-Dong Province and Le-Xa Village, Kinh-Mon District, Hai-Duong Province; his position in the CNC is not known.  (Date of information:  1965)

HA-MAI (HAF MAI) Senior Captain

Alias:  THAI (THAIS); described as an instructor; born about 1923 in Hanoi; has a high school education; able to write and speak fluent French and English; in 1957, became an intelligence instructor in the CNC; married; his wife and children live Hanoi; he lives in the BOQ in the Cot Co Compound.

NAM (NAWM) Warrant Officer

Described by the same source as Personnel Assistant in the Administration Section and as the deputy chief of the section; it is possible he holds both positions; born about 1935.


Described as one of seven civilians in the Radio Training Section of the Technical Office;





Was a major in June 1967; believed to be in the Plans Section of the Internal Intelligence Office, although may be in the Operations Control Section of the same Office.


Described as the supervisor of an agent being sent south in 1967; also gave the agent training; may be identical with the NGOC above.

NGON (NGOON) Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Foreign Intelligence Office; born about 1926; deaf in one ear; married; his family lives in Hanoi; has an 8th grade education; has been with the CNC since 1960; may be on the Laotian Desk since he speaks fluent Laotian.

NHAN (NHAANS) Senior Captain

Described as an intelligence instructor; born about 1925; married; his family lives in either Hai-Phong or Do-Son; formerly the political officer of an unidentified battalion in the Red River Left Bank Military Region; in early 1961, transferred to the CNC to work as an instructor in theory (of intelligence?)




NHO Captain

Described as an assistant in the Combat Intelligence Office; born about 1918 in Nam-Dinh Province; wife died in early 1962; his only child was entrusted to his mother who was living in Nam-Dinh Province; he lives in the BOQ in the Cot Co Compound.


Described as being in charge of radio operations in the Training Office.  (Date of information: 1967)

CAO-PHA Lieutenant Colonel

Also known as NGUYEN-THE-LUONG an HOANG-MUOI; born about 1921 in Central Viet-Nam; speaks with a Quang-Nam or Quang-Nghai accent; married; wife: THI-HANH (q.v.); one daughter born in 1957; lives in Cua-Nam Quarters on Cot Co Street; writes and speaks fluent French and a little Russian.

1948:  Described as chief of “intelligence research office” (not further described; not confirmed).

Early 1949:  When intelligence service (not further explained) abolished CAO-PHA and 13 people were transferred to the Cuc Quan-Bao whose headquarters were then located in Tong-Dau, Binh-Chung Village, Dinh-Hoa District, Thai-Nguyen Province.




1950:  PHA became deputy chief of the Cuc Quan-Bao.

1951:  Described as having fallen in disgrace (not further amplified); assigned to 3rd Region; was wounded at Ninh-Binh.  (Unconfirmed)

Late 1951/Feb 1952:  Described as deputy chief of Cuc Quan-Bao.

January 1955:  Described as chief of the Research Office (possibly in the NHA Lien-Lac).

1957:  Described as chief of Communications Office in charge of foreign affairs (sic).

August 1957:  Described as chief of Internal Intelligence Office; same source also states that from August 1957 until December 1961 PHA was one of two deputies in the Foreign Intelligence Office; in January 162, he became the sole deputy.

1960:  Described as deputy chief of the Foreign Intelligence Office; also chief of the Communications Section.

July 1962 – late 1963:  Went to the Soviet Union for intelligence training.


Described as instructor in cryptography.


Described in 1967 as a member of a maritime communications group located in Vinh City in




Nghe-AN Province; was in charge of obtaining food supplies; not believed to be identical with PHUC cited above.


Described as a member of the Communications Section (probably in the Internal Intelligence Office) of the CNC; was chief of the Vinh-Linh Contact Station until December 1961; born about 1916 in Bac-Giang Province.

QUAN (QUAAN) Senior Captain

Gave instruction in 1967 on the situation in South Viet-Nam.

QUAN (QUAAN) Senior Captain

Described as an officer in charge of “communications routes”


Described as one of two secret writing specialists in the Technical Office; born about 1926 in the north; fought in the Resistance War.


Described as one of seven civilians in the Radio Training Section of the Technical Office; born about 1923; married; he and his wife live in Hanoi; very good on morse code and in 1963 was




a second student at a university where he was studying radio electronics.

QUANG Senior Captain

Described as an instructor in the CNC; born about 1923 in Hanoi; married; he and his family live in Hanoi; during the Resistance War he was in charge of an intelligence unit in the 3rd Region; in 1957, came to the CNC as an instructor.

QUE Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the CNC; born about 1928; lives in the CNC BOQ in the Cot Co Compound.


Described as one of seven civilians in the Radio Training Section of the Technical Office.


Gave instruction in radio communications in 1959; possibly identical with QUI above.


Crew captain of maritime infiltration cell in Vinh-Linh contact base; born about 1926 in Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; married; his wife and children live in Thanh-Hoi Village, Quang-Tri Province; younger brother of Bui-Luyen.





Deputy chief of the Internal Intelligence Office and chief of the Communications Section; born about 1923 in Hung-Yen Province; married; lives with his family in Hanoi; reads and writes French and Chinese well; during the Resistance War, he was engaged in sabotage and assassination operations in the Hai-Duong area of Hai-Phong; in 1957, he became deputy chief of the Communications and Liaison Office which later became a section in the Internal Intelligence Office.

SOAI (SOAIS) Lieutenant

Medical assistant in the Administration Section.

SON First Lieutenant

Chief of one of the land infiltration cells in the Vinh Linh Contact Station; born about 1932 in Hong-Quang Province; married; his wife and children live in Hong Quang.


Member of the Communications Section (probably in the Internal Intelligence Office); chief of the Vinh Linh contact baser from January to March 1962 and then returned to CNC headquarters; born about 1918 in Nghe-An Province; married and has three children.





Described as a nurse of the Vinh-Linh Contact Station; formerly a member of the Thua-Thien Provincial Committee; comprised (not further explained) and moved to Vinh-Linh in 1956; born about 1939 in Thua-Thien Province; her husband’s name is LONG and her two children live at the Vinh-Linh station.


Alias:  LOC; described as an assistant in the Operations Control Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1923 in Gia Dinh Province; has an 8th grade education; during the resistance, he worked and operated in the eastern region of South Viet-Nam; went to North Viet-Nam in 1954 where he became the political officer of a company in the 330th Division; later became political officer of a battalion; in early 1961, transferred to the CNC to guide intelligence intelligence collection efforts; described as not having much experience and not being interested in intelligence work.


Civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; employed at the CNC as a driver; born about 1933; single; formerly a guerilla in the 5th Region; authorized to drive medium size trucks and the command car; lives in quarters in the Cot Co Compound.





Aliases:  NGUYEN-VAN-QUAN, TAN-VAN-NANG, and TRAN-VAN-THANH; born in 1926 in Kien-Phong Province.

1948 – 1949:  Deputy chief of the Intelligence Section of the 300th Regiment in the Eastern Region, South Viet-Nam.

1952 – 1954:  Chief of the Intelligence Section of the Ba-Ria/Cholon Provincial forces and was responsible primarily for the Nha-Be, Can-Duc, Cang-Nuoc districts.

October 1954 – 1960:  Intelligence career was temporarily halted because of the movement of South Vietnamese to North Viet-Nam and the indifference of the North Vietnamese government to southern intelligence personnel.

January 1961:  After a tour with the 330th Division, transferred to the CNC as an intelligence trainee and subsequently assigned as Training and Family Management officer in the Internal Intelligence Office.

March/April 1963:  Assigned to carry out an intelligence mission in the south; captured in April.


also given as NGUYEN-VAN-THAI Senior Captain

Described as the deputy chief of the Communications Section of the Internal Intelligence Office (in




April 1963); born about 1921 in Ha-Tinh Province; married; he and his family live in the Buoi area of Hanoi; before the Resistance War, he was a teacher in a village school; during the war assigned to the Military Intelligence Section of the 4th Region; in 1957, assigned to the Communications Section (of the Internal Intelligence Office) and was in charge of maritime operations out of Ha-Tinh; described as a specialist in communications operations.

THANG Captain

Described as an assistance in the Operations Control Section (of the Internal Intelligence Office?); born about 1928 in Bien-Hoa Province; single; lives in the Cot Co Compound; former company commander of Combat Intelligence Company, 330th Division; in early 1961, he was transferred to the CNC; does not like intelligence work and wants to be transferred back to his old unit.

THANG (THANWNGS) Lieutenant Colonel

Chief of the Training Office before July 1962; born about 1918; in 1954 assigned to the 5th Region; later moved to North Viet-Nam; in 1957 entered the CNC, and in July 1962 was sent to the Soviet Union for intelligence training; in late 1963 returned to North Viet-Nam.

THANG (THAWNGS) Lieutenant Colonel

Described in 1967 as deputy chief of the Training Office; native of Nghe-An Province; (may be identical with the preceding THANG.)




THANH Lieutenant

Described as an assistant to Senior Lieutenant HONG, chief of a maritime infiltration group located in Vinh City, Nghe-An Province.

THANH (THANHF) Lieutenant

Housing assistant in the Administration Section; born about 1933; married; lives in the Cot Co Compound.


Chief of the Research Office from the beginning of 1961 until at least 1963 (date of information); married; his wife lives in Hanoi.


Aliases:  HIA_VINH, NGUYEN-VAN-LOC; born in 1926 in Thung-Dau Village, Ha-Bac Province.

August 1948:  Went to Phu-Binh District, Thai-Nguyen Province to teach and to escape the Resistance War against the French.

April 1949:  Joined the Communist Party; became a full-figured member in October 1949.

June 1951:  Selected to attend a technical school in Dong-Du Village, Thang-Chung District Nghe-An Province, where he studied electronics, mechanics,




metal work, carpentry, and plumbing; served as member of the Executive Committee of the Student Communist Party Chapter; graduated second in his class; retained as an instructor at the school until it closed in 1955.

March 1955:  Assigned to the Hanoi Workers Union and sent to a three-month public utilities organization and management course in Hanoi.

June 1955:  Transferred to the Nha Lien-Lac as Administrative Officer.

August 1955 – July 1956:  Contracted tuberculosis and sent to hospital in Quang-Tay Province.

July 1956:  Returned to Hanoi; recuperated for a month in a hospital on Hoanh Hao Tam Street, Hanoi.

September 1956:  Returned to former position in the Nha Lien-Lac.

June 1957:  Prime Minister signed a decree which dissolved the Nha Lien-Lac.  All personnel were transferred to corresponding sections of the Cuc Quan-Bao which was given the cover name Cuc Nghien-Cuu.  THANH was appointed deputy chief of the Administrative and Political Section; his duties included the liquidation of the former holdings of the Nha Lien-Lac and assisting personnel who were not accepted in the CNC to find New York.  During this period, he enrolled in the College of Economics and Finance in Hanoi.

January 1960:  Transferred to the Internal Intelligence Office and began five months’ training in intelligence collection techniques.




June 1960:  Went to South Viet-Nam on two intelligence missions; returned to the DRVN the same month.

January 1961: Returned to work in the Internal Intelligence Office to train agent personnel scheduled to operate in the south.

April 1961:  Promoted to captain; reviewed press releases and messages from the Unification Committee on the situation in South Viet-Nam

June 1963:  Underwent preparation for another mission in the south; left in January 1964; captured in South Viet-Nam in September 1964.

THAO (THAOR) Senior Captain

Described as an employee in the Training Office.  (Date of information:  1967).


Civilian employee of the Ministry of National Defense; assistant in the Communications Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1923 in Hai-Phong; married and has children; he and his family live Hanoi.


Described as an assistant I the Foreign Intelligence Office and assigned to the Thailand Desk; born about 1929 in the north; in early childhood lived in Thailand; speaks and writes Thai very well;




married; he and his wife live in Hanoi; joined the Viet-Minh when former were operating in Thailand and followed them back to Viet-Nam where he was stationed in the Long-Chau-Sa area (incorporating Lomg-Xuyen, Chau-Doc, and Sa-Dec Provinces); went north with his unit in 1954 and was made a company commander in the 330th Division; in early 1961, transferred to the CNC; does not like his work and would like to return to his old unit.


Chief of the Training Office (1961); formerly a member of the Quang Tri Province Committee; before 1957 he was a senior operations officer in Thua Thien Province.

THUAN (THUAANJ) Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Combat Intelligence Office since 1961; born about 1923; lives in the BOQ in Cot-Co Compound.

THUAN Senior Captain

Described as acting chief of the Training Office in 1963; born about 1923; during the Resistance War he worked for the intelligence section of the Fifth Region; in 1957 he became an intelligence instructor in the CNC; married; his wife lives in Hai-Phong; he lives in the BOQ in the Cot-Co Compound.




TIEN (also given as TRENG and TIENG) Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Training and Family Management Section (of the Internal Intelligence Office?); born about 1925 in Son-Tay Province; has a seventh grade education; married and has children; previously assigned to an unidentified unit in Son-Tay Province; came to the CNC in July 1962.  Replaced TRAN VAN TAN (q.v.) in August 1962.

HA NGOC TIEU Lieutenant Colonel

Described as chief of the Field Operations Section (sic); replaced in 1961 by one VAN.  Formerly chief of military intelligence in the Nam-Bo Region (date?).

TINH Lieutenant

Described as an instructor in the Radio Training Section of the Technical Office.

TRINH Captain

Formerly in military intelligence in Bac Lieu Province; returned to the DRVN I about November 1954; described in 1968 as located in the south and working as a recruiter for the CNC.

HOANG TUAN (HOANGF TUAANS) First Lieutenant (?)

Described as being one of three members of the Photography unit of the Documentation Section of the Technical Office.




TUNG (TUNGF) Senior Captain

Described as an assistant in the Communications Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1920 in Dong-Anh District Bac-Ninh Province; has a seventh grade education; married and has seven children; his wife and children live in Dong-Anh District; Bac-Ninh Province; he l ives in the Cot-Co Compound; during the Resistance War, he was in the security service and transferred to the Liaison Office (sic); in 1957, assigned to the CNC.

LE-NGOC-UYNH Second Lieutenant

Described as a cadre of the Communications Section (of the Internal Intelligence Office); quite probably the political officer of the Vinh Linh Contact Station; formerly the political officer of Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; moved to the DRVN in 1954; transferred to the Liaison Office (sic); in 1957, assigned to the CNC.

LE-NGOC-UYNH Second Lieutenant

Described as a cadre of the Communications Section (of the Internal Intelligence Office); quite probably the political officer of the Vinh Linh Contact Station; formerly the political officer of Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; moved  to the DRVN in 1954; transferred to the Communications Section and has been the manager of the Vinh-Linh Contact Station since 1956; born about 1909 in Trieu-Phong District, Quang-Tri Province; has one boy, PHUOC, who was in school in the Soviet Union (1962 ?).

VAN Captain

Alias:  THANH; described as an assistant in the Operations Control Section of the Internal Intelligence Office.




VAN (VAWN) Captain

Alias:  THACH; described as an assistant in the Operations Control Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1928 in Nam-Dinh Province; married; his wife and children live in Ha-Dong Province; he lives in the Cot-Co Compound; has a seventh grade education; has been in the Operations Control Section since 1957; in about July 1962, VAN went to the Soviet Union for intelligence training; he returned to the DRVN towards the end of 1963.


Chief of the Administration Section; born about 1925; has an eighth grade education; married; his family lives in Bac-Ninh area; he lives in Cot-Co Compound; goes home on weekends.


Before July 1962, chief of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1921 in Hung-Yen Province; raised in Thailand; as a good knowledge of French and speaks fluent Thai, but cannot write it; married; his wife is a native of Sa-Dec Province (now called Kien-Phong Province); they have two children:  a girl born about 1953, and a boy born about 198; his wife works in the Irrigation Institute in the Dong-Da District of Hanoi; he and family live in quarters near the Institute.



1946:  Joined the Viet-Minh Overseas Troops in Thailand.

1953 – 1954:  Deputy chief of the provincial forces and Sa-Dec Provinces).

1955 – 1956:  Political officer of the 658th Regiment, stationed in Hoang-Hoa District, Thanh-Hoa Province.

1958:  Commanding officer of an unidentified artillery unit in the 330th Division, stationed in Tho-Xuan District, Thanh-Hoa Province.

1959 – 1960:  Chief of the Tactical Training Section of the Intermediate and Advanced Military School in Bach-Mai, Hanoi.

1961 – July 1962:  Chief of the Internal Intelligence Office.

July 1962 – late 1963:  Went to the Soviet Union for intelligence training.

PHU-VAN Lieutenant Colonel

Probably indentical with NGUYEN-NHU-VAN; source refers to latter and PHU-VAN as former chief of Internal Intelligence Office; both went to Soviet Union for training in July 1962 and remained there until late 1963.


See under NGUYEN-VU above.




Described as assistant chief of the CNC as well as chief of the Operations Division (sic) (date of information:  December 1966).  See NGUYEN-VU above.

VANG (VANGF) Captain

Described as an assistant in the Training and Family Management Section of the Internal Intelligence Office; born about 1926 in Quang-Nam Province; has about a sixth grade education; family status unknown; assigned to the CNC in the beginning of 1961.

VIEN (VIEEN) Lieutenant Colonel

Described as a visitor from the CNC who lectured in courses given by the First Special Operations Training Battalion at the Phung Garrison in Dan-Phuong District, Ha-Dong Province and in Le-Xa Village, Kinh-Mon District, Hai-Duong Province; position in the CNC unknown.  (Date of information 1965).


In 1957, became the chief of the Combat Intelligence Office; early in 1959 promoted to lieutenant colonel; in July 1962 went to the Soviet Union for intelligence training; returned to the DRVN in late 1963; born about 1921 in North




Viet-Nam’ high school graduate; writes and speaks fluent French; during the Resistance War, was commanding officer of the Combat Intelligence Battalion subordinate to the Viet-Minh general headquarters.


Political officer for the CNC from January until August 1958; before 1954 was a member of the eastern Nam-Bo Executive Committee; moved to the DRVN in 1954; also described as being a member of the 7th Region Party Committee and concurrently secretary of the Thu-Bien Provincial Party Committee.  (These two statements may cover the same period of time, i.e., one amplifies the other.); became member of the staff of the 330th Division and later CNC Political Officer (as given above); later, in 1958 assigned as chief of the Organization Department (sic) of the Ministry of Public Security; one other source states he was made vice-minister of Public Security.


Described as assistant chief of Operations Division (not further explained).  (Date of information:  1966).




















1.  In June 1925, HO-CHI-MINH, then known as NGUYEN-AI-QUOC (Nguyeenx Aif Quoocs), took over an existing Vietnamese refugee group, the “Heart to Heart Association” (Tam-Tam-Xa), set up in Canton, China, by LE-HONG-PHONG, and rechristened it the Viet-Nam Cach-Menh Thanh-Nien Dong-Chi-Hoi (Viet Nam Revolutionary youth association).  Bernard Fall:  The Two Viet Nams, New York, 1953, p. 93.  Five years later, the Youth Association was succeeded by the Dong-Duong Cong-San Dang (Indochinese Communist Party).

2.  Trampoline #1, The Viet Cong Security Service, July 1967, p.7.

3.  Vo Nguyen Giap:  People’s War, People’s Army, New York, 1962, p. 71.

4.  Resolution of the 8th session of the Central Committee, 1941.  Cited by Vo Nguyen Giap, Op. Cit., p. 71.

5.  During the 8th session of the Central Committee from 10 to 19 May 1941, the CIP set up the Mat Tran Viet-Nam Doc-Lap Dong-Minh (Revolutionary League for the Independence of Viet Nam), commonly referred to as the “Viet-Minh.”  The Viet-Minh was in theory a broad coalition of Vietnamese anti-French movement; however, in fact, it was a body rigidly controlled by the Vietnamese communists.

6.  Cf. Edgard O’balance:  The Indo-China War, 1945-1954, London, 1964, pp. 38 and 39.




7.  General CHANG FA-JUEI reportedly served with BORODIN in Canton in 1927.  Bernard Fall:  Le Viet-Minh, La Republique Democratique du Viet-Nam, 1945-1960, Paris, 1960, p. 67.

8.  According to Bernard Fall, NGUYEN-AI-QUOC was arrested on 28 August 1942.  Bernard Fall:  The Two Viet-Nams, New York, 1963, p. 99.

9.  According to Bernard Fall, Op. cit., p. 99, HO-CHI-MINH was released on 16 September 1943.

10.  Joseph Buttinger:  Viet Nam:  The Dragon Embattles, New York, 1967, pp.267 and 268.

11.  Philippe Devillers:  L’Histoire du Viet-Nam, Paris, 1952, p. 268.

12.  A Free French Mission was established in Chung-king in October 1943, and  immediately made contact with sympathizers inside Indochina with the object of forming an intelligence network.  This move was successful and the information obtained was placed at the Allies’ disposal.  Edgar O’Ballance, Op. cit., p. 44.

13.  Decrees 33 and 71, both dated 22 March 1946, established the People’s Army of Viet Nam (PAVN). Bernard Fall:  The Viet Minh Regime, New York, 1956, p. 81.

14.  Bernard Fall refers to “a newly created Army Commissariat” in The Viet-Minh Regime, page 12.  The implication is that the Army Commissariat may have been created as a part of the National




Resistance Committee.  Fall unfortunately provides no additional details.  It is interesting to note that, on 4 June 1945, the General Committee of the Viet Minh Front convened a conference at which it was resolved to reorganize the Viet Nam Liberation Army to include the setting up of a “commissariat and intelligence service.”  No further details are available as to the relation, if any, between this “commissariat” and the “Army Commissariat.”

Breaking Our Chains, Documents on the Vietnamese Revolution of August 1945, Hanoi, Foreign Language Publishing House, 1960, pp. 54 and 55.

15.  The Public Security Directorate was created by Decree no.23, dated 21 February 1946, and reorganized in August 1948 by the Director, LE_GIAN, who approved the new laws by Ordinance no. 140-C, dated 10 August 1946.  The Directorate was subordinate to the Ministry of Interior.

In 1948, the Directorate was composed as follows:

Director :  E_GIAN (aka tO_GI)

Deputy Director:  HOANG-MY (aka HOANG_VAN_XA) who May be identical with TRAN-HIEU.

Political Affairs Bureau:  This bureau was charge with the  investigation and  suppression of political activities inimical to the government.




Special Affairs Bureau: TRAN-HIEU.  This bureau was charged with espionage and counterespionage.

Other Bureaus: Judicial Police, Administration, Economy, Research, Cryptography, and Police Schools.

The Director of Public Security was later raised to the rank of Under Secretary of State for Public Security.  On 1 January 1953, LE_GIAN was replaced by TRAN-QUOC-HOAN, presently the Minister of Public Security.  Public Security became a separate ministry in 1957 at the same time as the merger of the two intelligence services (q.v.).

16.  As early as 1950, TAN-HIEU was described as holding the position of deputy director of Public Secuirty in addition to his intelligence responsibilities.  The last mention of TRAN-HIEU as deputy appeared in 1954.  If the above information is true, it may lend additional validity to the following statement made by Bernard Fall relative to the intelligence coordinating functions of the director of Public Security:

“Throughout the police system there existed close coordination between the Political Bureau, the VPA Military Intelligence Service, and the information and propaganda units of the area (DRVN Security Zones), thus achieving a maxium of coverage of every bit of intelligence that might possibly indicate subversive activities.  This close coordination was also achieved at top level, where the




civilian Director General of the Police and Security Services had as his deputy the Chief of the Central Intelligence Services of the VPA.”

Bernard Fall:  The Viet-Minh Regime, New York, 1956, p. 35, and Le Viet-Minh 1945-1960, Paris, 1960, p. 105.

Early 1951 is probably correct for the Lao-Dong Party was created during a meeting in North Viet-Nam of the National United Front, 11-19 February 1951.  The party was formally established on 4 March 1951.  Benard Fall:  Le Viet-Minh 1945-1960, Paris, 1960, p. 149.

17. There is confusion as to the date of the merger of the civilian and military intelligence services.  The majority of sources, however, indicate that the merger took place in 1957 and may, in fact, have taken place in August 1957, the date of Colonel LE-TRONG-NGHIA’s appointment as deputy chief of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu.  [According to one source the DRVN Prime Minister signed a decree in June 1957 disslving the Liaison Directorate.  All personnel of the Liaison Directorate were transferred to corresponding sections of the Cuc Quan-Bao which was given the cover name of Cuc Nghien-Cuu (see footnotes 19.)]  Plans for the reorganization of DRVN intelligence may have been initiated in 1955 when TROUNG-CHINH, then Secretary General of the Lao-Dong Party, succeeded in reorganization modelled after the Chinese Communist Ministry of National Defense provided for three major components:  the Political Directorate, the General Staff, and the Supply or Logistics Directorate.




Honey, P.J., Communism in North Vietnam, London, 1963, p.41.

18.  It is difficult to pin down the exact position of the Cuc Nghien-Cuu within the DRVN Government.  It is certain that the CNC is subordinate to the Chief of the PAVN General Staff.  Information dated April 1963, however, indicates that the CNC receives directives from two other government components in addition to the General Staff.  These two elements are the Central Unification Committee and the Prime Minister’s Office.  Later information dated December 1966 indicates that the CNC is responsible to HO-CHI-MINH through Prime Minister PHAM-VAN-DONG, Deputy Prime Minister TROUNG-CHINH, and Defense Minister VO-NGUYEN-GIAP.

This confusion only points up the necessity for more information and study on the entire DRVN intelligence and security community.

19.  The title Cuc Tinh-Bao appears to be used indiscriminately by Vietnamese writers as a convenient vehicle to denote any intelligence service.

It has been noted that the title for the strategic intelligence service sometimes includes the compound word trung-uong (trung wowng) and is translated as “central.”  There is not sufficient information in Vietnamese, however, to support the translation of Cuc Nghien-Cuu Trung-Uong as “Central Research Agency” as it is sometimes found in English.  It might be better translated as “CNC Headquarters” or “National Research Agency” since in all cases references is being made to the service at the national or Lao-Dong Party level.




NB:  One well-informed source has stated that the title Cuc Nghien-Cuu (without the compound word trung-uong) appears in the letterhead of official correspondence originating within the CNC for dissemination outside the agency.

20.   (Comment:  Although theories abound, actual relationships between the Military Affairs Committee and Unification Committee and between these committees and the military and party structure in South Viet-Nam have not been clearly expressed.)  The Unification Committee was established immediately after the July 1954 armistice.  At that time it was known as the “Committee for the People’s Struggle for Relations between the North and South” (Ban Dan-Tranh Thong-Nhat Trung-uong), but was usually referred to as the “North-South Relations Committee” (Ban Quan-He Bac Nam) but was usually referred to as the “Central Unification Committee” or simply “Unification Committee” (Uy-Ban Thong-Nhat).  Since that time, the Committee has been ostensibly responsible for all matters concerning persons who went to the DRVN in 1954 and 1955 and for propaganda activities encouraging the North Vietnamese people to support unification of the country.

After the Third Party Congress in 1960, the Committee was elevated to the rank of ministry within the DRVN Government.  The Committee assists the Politbureau and the Secretariat in the interpretation of the political and social situation in South Viet-Nam, the recommendation




of policies to guide the development of the Communist Party in South Viet-Nam, and the fulfillment of all requirements) for personnel and materiel.  SIC Report No.25/65, 11 February 1965.

21.  The Military Affairs Committee is the supreme party organization for the Peop;e’s Army of Viet-Nam.  The Committee consists of twenty members, both civilian and military, who are all members of the Central Committee and/or Politbureau.  They are elected by the Central Committee to represent the Party in supervising the Ministry of National Defense and all communist armed forces in North and South Viet-Nam.  The Committee assists the Politbureau and the Party Secretariat in following the war in the south, provides strategic guidance for military operations in the south, and ensures the quick supply of men and materiel to meet military requirements.  The Committee controls the military apparatus through the General Political Directorate, now headed by Major General SONG-HAO.  SIC Report No. 25/65, 11 February 1965.

22.  See The Viet Cong Security Service (TRANPOLINE #1), July 1967 (CONFIDENTIAL).

23.  Omitted.

24.  In its operations in South Viet-Nam the CNC may occasionally conduct that kind of counterintelligence operation usually called aggressive counterespionage.  That is, if the CNC should develop a penetration of an enemy intelligence or security organ through its own resources, it would probably continue to run the operation, even though the target is within the normal charter of the Cong An.  Presumably coordination would be effective and non-acrimonious.




25.  The DRVN maintains foreign representation in the following countries: (“F” indicates a simultaneous representation by the NFLSVN).

Algeria (F) North Korea (F)
Bulgaria Laos
Burma Marretania (from Mali)
Cambodia Mali
Ceylon Mongolia
China (F) Morocco
Congo Poland (F)
Cuba (F) Rumania
Czechoslovakia (F) Syria
France Tanzania
East Germany (F) United Arab Republic (F)
Guinea United Kingdom (press only)
Hong Kong Soviet Union (F)
Hungary Yemen (from UAR)
India Yugolsavia
Indonesia (F) Zanzibar (from Tanzania)

26.  DOD IR 6028 0723 68, 25 February 1968 from CMIC Source No. 1646.  According to a source (in 1966) whose information is unconfirmed, there was an intelligence network in Military Region 5 directly responsible to the Military Intelligence Section of the General Staff, Military Affairs Committee.  Personnel and equipment including radio gear were supplied by the “military intelligence department” of the North Vietnamese General Staff headquarters.  Its communications also involved a link with the “Department of Military Intelligence” of the North Vietnamese General Staff in Hanoi and network of strategic intelligence cells (not further identified).




27.  It may possibly be a linquistic confusion between Vu Nghien-Cuu, an element of the security service (Cong-An) and Cuc Nghien-Cuu, the cover name for the strategic intelligence service so often called the Cuc Tinh-Bao, that has led to reports that the CNC has a counterintelligence function.

28.  Linguistic difficulties exist here also and largely by the indiscriminate use of the English non-word “sapper” to denote any kind of armed attack except frontal assault by uniformed troops against prepared military positions.  The Vietnamese dac-cong (dawch coong_ is incorrectly translated by “sapper” a world of French origin used in British military slang to describe (military) construction engineers, which would be translated into Vietnamese as cong-binh (coong binh).

The non “sap” indicates the trench or gallery dug from the attacker’s lines to a point beneath the enemy’s works to gain entrance to his fortifications or to destroy them by explosives.  The verb “to sap” decribes the action, i.e., to operate against or pierce by saps.  The noun “sapper” is the one who saps; a member of a military engineer unit organized and equipped primarily to execute sapping and other field fortification work.

Hence the word “sapper” is too restrictive and does not describe those commando or ranger type activities carried out by the dac-cong or special operations units of the Vietnamese communist elements in South VietNnam.

29.  An earlier document (1959), from an official South Vietnamese services, gives his name as




TRAN-MINH-TRI (Traanf Minh-Tries) aka HOUNG (Hwowng).  He was described as a member, of the Lao-Dong Party Central Committee and CNC representative in South Viet-Nam.

30.  The reader will note that the area we think of as being governed by the Republic of Viet-Nam with capital in Saigon is, under North Viet-namese law, part of the communist Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam with sea in Hanoi.  Espionage operations in the south are therefore conducted by the Internal Office.  In rough parallel the Chinese Communist intelligence services administer their work in Hong Kong and Formosa as internal areas.  The reader may wish that Hanoi’s control of South Viet-Nam were as weak as Peking’s control of Taiwan.

31.  The term “research” appears to be a favorite euphemism or cover name for clandestine intelligence.  The presence of a CNC operational base within a Party Committee, covered as an ostensible regular section of the Committee, suggests the possibilities of closer relation between the apparatus of the Internal Intelligence Office of the CNC and the Party apparatus (including presumably Military Intelligence) in the South than our information on CNC operations has thus far given us to believe.  See on Combat Intelligence Office and Combat Intelligence Battalion.

32.  Radio monitoring and relay of radio messages are now thought to be conducted by specialized elements in the field and at CNC headquarters.  See paragraph 5f below on the Technical Office.




33.  As of 1963 Senior Captains LUONG (Lwowng), HOA (Hoaf), LUYEN (Luyeens), THANH (Thanhf), and Captain Cat (Cat).  Sources:  SIC Report No. 159/63, 11 December 1963; SIC Report No. 176/63, 13 January 1964.

34.  As of 1963 Senior Captain NGUYEN-VAN-TAM (Nguyeen Vawn Taam), Captains HOA (Hoaf), THANG (Thwangs), LANG (Lang) and VAN (Vaan).  Source:  ibid.

35.  As of 1963, Senior Captains KHANG (Khang) and TRENG (Treng), Captains DUONG (Zwowng), DOAI (DOAIF), VANG (Vangf) and DU (zus.) Source: ibid.

36.  P.J. Honey, Communism in North Viet Nam, M.I.T Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1966. P. 98f

37.  NIC Report 932/67,  1 September 1967; Source: NGUYEN THANH VAN.

38.  See note 30 above.

39.  Although few details are available concerning selection, investigation, and recruitment of CNC Staff personnel (both civilian and military), one report prepared by an official French services in 1953 states that the Political Office of the then Directorate General of Public Security was responsible for the internal security of the Viet-Minh civilian government and party organizations.  In order to prevent the leakage of information of potential interests to the enemy, the Directorate set up a security section within each DRVN administrative service, with in each DRVN administrative service, organizations, and enterprise.  These sections were completely controlled by the party; the Directorate acted only in an advisory




capacity and when necessary as an organ of repression.

The Military Security Services fulfilled a similar function inside the Viet-Minh armed forces.  The source document is now fifteen years old; however, there has been no subsequent information, indicating that the above responsibilities have been changed in any way.

40.  A Competent source, whose information is dated no later than early 1963, stated from 1954 until September 1959 personnel of the People’s Army of Viet-Nam (PAVN) received food, clothing, and a small amount of pocket money.  Until September 1959 there were no published regulations relating to pays scales and supply systems.  After that date regulations were published establishing two systems for the PAVN:

a.  Non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel were provided with clothing, food, and spending money as they had been before September 1959.  The majority of the above personnel took their meals in military messes.  Those men serving on the staff who had their families with them are given an allowance of 21 piasters ($3.37) per month and were allowed to take their meals at home.

Each person received monthly the following amount of pocket money:

Senior sergeant - 36 piasters ($6.16).




- 30 piasters               ($5.10)                     
- 24 piasters ($4.08)
Private first class - 18 piasters ($3.06)
Private - 12 piasters ($2.04)

b.  All officer personnel received the following basic monthly salary:

Senior  general                         - 220 piasters              ($37.40                 
Colonel general - 205 piasters  ($34.85)
Lieutenant general - 190 piasters ($32.30)
Major general - 175 piasters ($29.75)
Senior colonel - 160 piasters
Colonel - 145 piasters ($24.65)
Lieutenant colonel - 130 piasters ($22.10)
- 115 piasters ($19.55)
Senior captain - 100 piasters ($17.00)
Captain - 86 piasters ($14.62)
Senior lieutenant - 80 piasters ($13.60)
Lieutenant - 73 piasters ($12.41)
Warrant officer - 65 piasters ($11.05)

Officers were allowed to eat with their families in nationalized restaurants or in private boarding houses; however, it was




Recommended that they eat with the troops in order to appreciate the troops’ messing conditions.  If officers ate in a mess they were required to pay 21 piasters ($3.57) a month.

All military personnel were entitled to supplemental allowances.  These were broken down into three categories:

a.  A longevity allowance paid after serving in the army for three years.  It was equal to one per cent of the monthly base pay for each additional year.  The allowance for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men was equal to one per cent of the pocket money received plus the value of food an equipment.

b.  A cost of living allowance paid on the basis of a decree issued by the Ministry of Interior which designated certain sections of the country as high cost of libing area and personnel stationed there received a twelve per cent cost of living allowance.

c.  Family allowance paid to military personnel with more than two children.  They received 5 piasters a month extra for each additional child.

In addition to the above allowance, every member of PAVN, regardless of rank received two 0.12 piaster postage stamps per month.  When military personnel go on TDY they received one piaster a day called “mission fees”.  If they used their won bicycle for the trip they were reimbursed in the following amounts:




    a.  First category (asphalt roads) –

     0.015 piaster per kilometer

    b.  Second category (gravel roads) –

     0.02 piaster per kilometer

    c.  Third category (dirt roads) –

     0.025 piaster per kilometer

41.  As of 1963, this sum amounted to 600 piasters ($102.00) per month.

42. In one known instances an officer’s family received 200 piasters ($34.00) per month.


      1).  TRADECRAFT 

Ideological motivation of an intelligence officer 

Preparations for an intelligence operation

Tasks and responsibilities of a case officer

Spotting and development of potential agents

Recruitment of agents

Management of an agent net

Techniques of operational contacts and communications

Collection and evaluation of information




Surveillance and countersurveillance

Operational security

Preparation of reports


Document photography

Radio operation and repair


Counterfeiting of chachets

Motor vehicle driving

Secret writing

3).  SPECIAL TRAINING – railroad engineer



Purposes and need for strategic intelligence

Principles of operational security

Study of operational area

Surveillance and countersurveillance

Operational contacts and communications

Spotting and developing potential agents




Motivation and morality of intelligence

    2).  TECHNICAL


         Secret writing

       Radio operations (one-way receiving)

3).  SPECIAL –English language.

44.  Information on the CNC organization contained in paragraphs 1.a.  through 1.f.  is taken from two documents obtained from official South Vietnamese security services.  The older of the two (dated not later than 1954) generally supports the second document.  Details, however, are difficult to resolve without going back to the sources who are no longer available.  The second document, although compiled in late 1965 does not contain information dated later than early 1964.

45.  The exact titles of these “regions”, if in fact any titles existed, are not known.

46.  The CNC representative assigned to this area was one NGUYEN-TUAN (Nguyeenx Tuaans).  TUAN may be identiacal with a person with the same name who was described as chief of the “Hanoi intelligence service” in 1956; his present whereabouts are unknown.

47.  The “Bridge End Center” was under the direction of NGUYEN-NGOC-BICH (nguyeenx Ngocj Bichs) aka DOAN-VAN-BICH (Doanf Vawn Bichs); arrested in Hue in 1959; his present whereabouts are unknown.




48. This area was under the direction of LE CAU (Lee Caau).  Before the Armistice in 1954, LE CAU had been chief of military intelligence in Military Region V.  After the armistice, LE CAU returned north where he remained a short time before returning to South Viet-Nam to set up an operations base in Pleiku Province; he later changed his base Lam-Dong Province.  He was arrested by South Vietnamese authorities on 12 November 1961.  LE CAU I still being held by the South Vietnamese.

49.  This region was under the command of NGUYEN-VAN-DIEP (Nguyeenx Vawn Zieepj) aka PHAN (Phan).  His headquarters in Svay-Rieng Province in Cambodia were described as being “co-located” with the Nam-Bo Regional Committee.  Before 1954, DIEP was a member of the Long-An Province Committee; after the ceasefire, he went to North Viet-Nam and in 1960 was called to the CNC.  After a course of training in intelligence, he was sent to South Viet-Nam where he was to contact MAI-CHI-THO, Secretary of the Nam-Bo Regional Committee, to discuss the organization of a network to maintain regular contact with the Regional Committee and to relay directions, documents, etc., to and from CNC headquarters.  DIEP was unable to fulfill his missions and to set up operations.  He was captured by South Vietnamese authorities and accepted recruitment as a penetration agent.  Following the overthrow of the Diem Regime, DIEP disappeared.

50.  Phan-Vien (phais visen) is translated literally as ‘envoy”; or one might say “representative”.  In order to equate phai-vien to American intelligence terminology, the




Vietnamese title is translated as “operations officer” or “field commissar” (a Soviet intelligence term).

51.  Phai-khien (phais khieenr) may be translated as the person with an “assigned command”.  American intelligence would consider the phai-khien equal to an “agent handler” or “mission agent” (a Soviet intelligence term).

52.  Co-so may be translated literally as “installation” or “base” as well as “asset” or “agent”.

53.  For the most part, information regarding these contact bases was extracted from interrogations of captured CNC agents, agent handlers, and operations officers.  Such interrogations have in the past, certainly, shown a lack of professionalism, e.g., the necessary and concurrent research and collateral investigation that should have been carried out during the course of an interrogation was obviously not done.  In essence, many of the “sources” interrogated have not been “broken” or have not confessed; the results, therefore, have been little more than debriefings.  In some cases, CNC personnel have not been interrogated on their knowledge of radios and bases although they had continued access to these bases and should have had detailed information.  In other cases, the CNC sources furnished only general information on the bases, although the sources should have had considerably more knowledge.  In still other cases, there has been conflicting information by several sources on the same base, yet no attempt was made to




resolve these differences.

The information contained here on the contact base is the result of prolonged research in the available files of information and is believed to be accurate.

54.  A date of information is given where it is not evident from the text when the action took place.

55.  A fictitious cryptonym to hide the true identity of a contact base known to be in operation.

56.  Generally the boat used in a maritime infiltration operation is a sailing junk (no motorized vessels have ever been reported) and has crew of four or five men.  The boat is usually camouflaged as a fishing or merchant vessel and is provided with forged documentation; the crew is provided with a cover story to justify its presence near the target area.  Personnel to be infiltrated or exfiltrated pose as members of the crew are given some training to familiarize them with their cover work.  Boat crews are instructed not to attempt to acquire any information not to attempt to acquire any information about the identities of the personnel on board or their missions.  In addition to their main operational task, boat crews are also given intelligence requirements for each trip, e.g., presence of allied and South Vietnamese shipping, military patrol boats, etc.  Usually boats are used only during the period from December through August when weather conditions are favorable for travel on the water.(See also Chapter IV above.)




57.  Before leaving Hanoi, CNC headquarters had issued instructions that should it prove impossible to establish radio contact with Hanoi, the local Province Party Committee would report the matter to COSVN who would request orders from Hanoi.

58.  The contact made with the Province Party Committee and the subsequent assistance provided by the local party elements indicate a closer relationship between CNC field components and local party representatives than heretofore known and, in fact, indicate that Hanoi must have informed the Province Party Committee of the group’s assignment in South Viet-Nam before the Group’s arrival in the area.  Another factor which indicates a closer relationship is that the contact base known overtly as “district armed element” and later as a “province armed propaganda unit”.

This information appears to contradict earlier information to the effect that the CNC strictly forbade any contact with local party elements, except in an emergency or for support purposes (and only after approval had been received from CNC headquarters); however, it may be that only certain members of a CNC base or network, e.g., the base chief, were authorized to establish and maintain contact with local party elements.

This theory might be further expanded by stating that the persons authorized to establish contact within communist controlled areas, whereas agent handlers and other operational personnel operating in




Areas not under communist control may have been forbidden contact with local party elements including the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet-Nam so as to preserve their “legal status”.


















_______.  Breaking Our Chains, Documents of the Vietnamese Revolution of August 1945, Hanoi, Foreign Language Publishing House, 1960.

Buttinger, Joseph. Vietnam:  A Dragon Embattled, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1967, 2 vols.

Carver, George, Jr.  “The Real Revolution in South Viet Nam,” Foreign Affairs, April 1965.

_______.  “The Faceless Viet Cong,” Foreign Affairs, April 1966.

Devillers, Philippe.  Histoire du Viet-Nam de 1940 a 1952, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1952.

Duong Chau.  The Seventeenth Parallel, Saigon, 1958.

Fall, Bernard.  The Two Viet-Nams:  A Political and Military Analysis, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1963.

Honey, P.J. (ed.) North Vietnam Today, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1962.

________.  Communism in North Vietnam, Oxford, The Holywell Press, Ltd., 1963.

Lacouture, Jean and Devillers, Phillipe. La Fin d’une Guerre:  Indochine 1954, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1960

Nguyen Van Thai and Nguyen Van Mung.  A Short History of Viet Nam, Saigon, The Times Publishing Co., 1958.




O’balance, Edgar.  The Indo-China War 1945-1954: A Study in Guerrilla Warfare, London, Faber & Faber, 1964.

Tanham, George K.  Communist Revolutionary Warfare:  The Vietminh in Indochina, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1961.


For a more extensive bibliography, see Buttinger, Joseph. Viet Nam:  A Dragon Embattled, Vol.2, pages 1258-1282.



Published: Mon Oct 01 06:49:57 EDT 2018