President Obama is continuing his historic trip to Laos—the first trip there for a sitting U.S. president—although he has so far refused to issue a formal apology for the secret U.S. bombing campaign in Laos during the U.S. war in Vietnam. Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped an average of eight bombs per minute on Laos, including as many as 270 million cluster bombs. Laos authorities say as many as one-third of these cluster bombs did not explode at the time. President Obama has pledged $90 million to help clear Laos of the unexploded U.S. bombs.
President Barack Obama “For all those years in the 1960s and '70s, America's intervention here in Laos was a secret to the American people, who were separated by vast distances and a Pacific Ocean, and there was no internet, and information didn’t flow as easily. For the people of Laos, obviously, this war was no secret. Over the course of roughly a decade, the United States dropped more bombs on Laos than Germany and Japan during World War II. Some 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped on this country.”