A session of the Vietnam peace talks is set for today amid unconfirmed reports that secret contacts are under way between the United States and North Vietnam.
France Sour, a Paris newspaper, and the United States had proposed in a secret exchange with North Vietnam that a seven-day truce be put into effect, apparently to be followed by a general cease-fire.
U.S. officials denied the truce and cease-fire report as "completely without foundation." North Vietnamese officials noted inquiries about the report but had no comment. Neither side commented on reports that secret talks had begun.
Refugees continued to flee from Hue yesterday as fighting broke out six miles from the city.
The North Vietnamese attacked bases northwest of the city of Kontum yesterday. A U.S. official said the highlands provincial capital must be held at all costs.
Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird ordered a top-level team of logistics specialists to Vietnam Wednesday to determine whether Saigon requires more American military aid.
Pentagon spokesman Jerry W. Friedheim said the group, hended by one of Laird's top civilian assistants and accompanied by five generals, will consider both Saigon's military needs and what additional measures may be needed to protect the remaining U.S. troops.