Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visits Hanoi to commemorate 20 years of U.S- Vietnam relations. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton returns to Hanoi to mark the 20th anniversary of normalized relations between the U.S. and Vietnam. Clinton described the normalization of ties as "one of the most important achievements" during his two terms in office. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, BILL CLINTON, SAYING: "Twenty years ago our trade was 500 million dollars a year. Now it is 35 billion and raising. And Vietnam just passed Malaysia and Thailand to become ASEAN's top exporter of merchandise to the U.S." In 2000, Clinton was the first U.S. President to visit Vietnam after the end of a war that killed at least 58,000 U.S. troops and more than 3 millions Vietnamese. The last U.S. troops withdrew in 1973 leading to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The U.S then enforced an embargo on the Communist-ruled country until Clinton announced the normalization of relations on July 11,1995.