The information, rumors and interviews on which Joseph Alsop's article in the 18 September Washington Post was based are but the most recent signs that the GVN, the DRV, and the French may have been engaged of late in exploring the possibilities of some kind of North-South rapprochement. It is highly unlikely that any such explorations seriuously concerned imminent reunification, since Hanoi's frequently stated conditions for unification would entail the capitulation of the GVN and the handing over of South Vietnam to the Communist North. We consider the chances less than even that the GVN is now seriously interested in some form of rapprochement of lesser dimensions than reunification -- eg, de facto cease-fire, formal cease-fire, or some variant of neutralization. Nevertheless, there is sufficient possibility of serious Ngo family interest in such latter rapprochement to merit continuing close attention. A variety of motives could induce (or may have already induced) the Ngo's to explore the possibilities of rapprochement with Hanoi: (a) a desire to develop their own "sanction" to counter threats of US aid cuts and provide the GVN some maneuverability in face of US pressures; (b) a general interest in maximizing available options during a crisis period (eg, one in which they may find themselves losing the military support necessary to prevent total defeat); and (c) a new willingness to listen to long-standing French arguments or overtures. We would expect such exploratory activity to subside if US/GVN relations or the course of the war against the Viet Cong should improve --and, conversely, to increase if either of these should further deteriorate.