Former President Richard M. Nixon said in an interview broadcast Saturday that his biggest mistake in office was in not bombing and mining North Vietnam sooner.

"I would say the major mistake I made as president was one, this will suprise you, was not doing early in 1969 what I did on May 3 of 1972 and on Dec. 15 of 1972, and that was to bomb and mine North Vietnam," Nixon said in an interview taped for Sunday's "Meet the Press" on NBC."I wanted to do it, I talked to Henry Kissinger about it, but we were stuck with the bombing halt that we had inherited from the Johnson administration, with Paris peace talks," he said. "I knew that, just like the cease fire talks down here in Nicaragua, I didn't trust them at all. And they proved to be of course phony.

"But if we had done that then, I think we would have ended the war in Vietnam in 1969 rather than in 1973," Nixon said in a segment of the interview shown on NBC News on Saturday. "That was my biggest mistake as president."