Insurgency in the South, 1956-1960 The Sino-Soviet split led to a reduction in the influence of the PRC, which had insisted in 1954 that the Viet Minh should accept a division of the country.Truong Chinh, North Vietnam's pro-PRC party first secretary, was demoted and Hanoi authorised communists in South Vietnam to begin a low level insurgency in Dec 1956. This insurgency in the south had begun in response to Diem's Denunciation of Communists campaign, in which thousands of local Viet Minh cadres and supporters had been executed or sent to concentration camps, and was in violation of the Northern Communist party line which had instructed them not to start an insurrection, but rather engage in a political campaign, agitating for a free all-Vietnam election in accordance with the Geneva accord.
Ho Chi Minh advised, "Do not engage in military operations, that will lead to defeat. Do not take land from the peasant. Emphasize nationalism rather than communism. Do not antagonise any one if you can avoid it Be selective in your violence . If an assassination is necessary, use a knife, not a rifle or a grenede. It is easy to kill innocents with guns and bombs, and accidental killing of the of the innocent bystanders will allienate peasants from the revolution. Once an assassination has taken place, make sure peasants know why the killing occurred ". This strategy was referred to as "armed propaganda".