Dec. 16 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits shops in Hanoi's old quarter, before heading to official meetings with Vietnamese leaders. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited an art gallery and a silk shop in Hanoi's old quarter, before his meetings with Vietnamese leaders on Monday (December 16). Kerry is scheduled to meet with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh and later, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. More than four decades after he served in the Vietnam War, Kerry has returned as secretary of state to seek closer trade and security ties with a country that helped shape his political thinking as a young naval officer. His four-day trip to the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City - or Saigon as he once knew it - the Mekong Delta and the capital Hanoi will be as much about his past as about promoting stronger ties with a country whose economy is fast transforming itself. Kerry visited Vietnam 13 times as a U.S. senator, this is his first to the country as secretary of state. His visit comes as the United States strives to reach a trade deal with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam. A Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is the centerpiece of U.S. efforts to refocus attention on the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.