Donald Trump is set to
arrive in Hanoi today (Feb. 26) for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
This is Trump’s second trip to Vietnam as president and he is the fourth US president to visit a unified, post-American-war Vietnam. In the 1960s,
Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon each visited troops in what was South Vietnam during America’s involvement in the war.
After the fall of South Vietnam’s capital Saigon—now Ho Chi Minh City—ended the war in 1975, no president visited until after diplomatic relations were normalized under
Bill Clinton. He visited near the end of his second term in late 2000. George W. Bush visited the Vietnamese capital in 2006. Barack Obama probably made the biggest presidential splash during his visit in 2016, which included a stop at a humble bun cha restaurant in Hanoi for a meal he shared with the late Anthony Bourdain.
Trump first visited Hanoi in 2017, following his appearance at an
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang.
The photos illustrate the evolution of Vietnam’s relationship with the US, from military foe to a partner on the global economic stage.
Lyndon Johnson–1966 American soldiers swarm around Johnson on Oct. 26, 1966, shortly after his arrival at Cam Rahn Bay in South Vietnam during the long-running war against the Hanoi regime of North Vietnam. Richard Nixon–1969 Nixon with soldiers during his visit to South Vietnam, July 1969. Nixon with president Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam in Saigon. Nixon reviews troops with Thieu in Saigon. Bill Clinton–2000 Clinton reviews an honor guard with Vietnamese president Tran Duc Luong during arrival ceremony in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2000. Clinton reaches out to shake hands with well-wishers from the balcony of a building across the street from the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.
AP Photo/David Guttenfelder
Clinton greets a crowd in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 19, 2000. George W. Bush–2006 George W. Bush is escorted by Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet during welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2006. Bush, who was attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, meets with president Nguyen Minh Triet at the presidential palace in Hanoi on Nov. 17, 2006 Barack Obama–2016 Obama and Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang review honor guard during welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on May 23, 2016. Obama greets people at the door as he walks from the Bún cha Huong Liên restaurant in Hanoi after having dinner with chef Anthony Bourdain May 23, 2016. Local residents react to Obama after his dinner with Bourdain. Obama with Bourdain in a shopping area of Hanoi. Obama speaks during the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative town hall event at the GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City, May 25, 2016. Obama greets audience members after speaking to Vietnamese young people in Ho Chi Minh City. Donald Trump–2017
Nyein Chan Naing/Pool/Reuters
Trump speaks on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit in Danang, Nov. 10, 2017.
Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters
Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump, Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang and Chinese president Xi Jinping arrive for photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Nov. 11, 2017. Trump participates in a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Nov. 12, 2017. Tran Dai Quang and Trump arrive for a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Nov. 12, 2017.