Ngo Dinh Diem, a prominent catholic nationalist is instated as the leader of South Vietnam, with strong US backing. However, in the north, Ho Chi Min leads the communist forces, with clear ties to the soviet union. He was supported by both France and the USA as a strong hard lined leader very much opposed to the communist regime in the North. This support came in many forms, typically with military supplies and aid, again confirming the relationship between the west and South Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in 1955 and replaced by the new leader Nguyen Ngoc Tho with US support.