Two U.S. Navy vessels
on became the first American warships to visit northern Vietnam in peacetime, entering Haiphong port which U.S. forces mined and bombed in the Vietnam War 40 years ago, according to a Reuters report.
The courtesy call of mine warfare ships
USS Patriot and USS Guardian in communist-ruled Vietnam is the latest in a series of ship visits at a time of warm relations between Hanoi and Washington.
A training ship, USS Golden Bear, visited Haiphong in July, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said.
The USS Patriot and USS Guardian were to remain in Haiphong for several days, with the crews playing volleyball with a Vietnamese Navy team and visiting schools for blind and deaf children, officials said.
Since Washington and Hanoi established diplomatic ties, other U.S. ships have stopped in Danang and Ho Chi Minh City, the latter the former Saigon and capital of U.S.-backed South Vietnam.
In the 12 years since the lifting of a trade embargo and diplomatic relations, U.S.-Vietnam ties have grown, mostly through trade, but include cooperation on health and education. [Source: Reuters]