Esper says US providing Vietnam with coast guard ship

HANOI, VIETNAM (AP) – United States (US) Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the US is providing Vietnam with a surplus American ship for its coast guard.

Esper made the announcement during a speech yesterday at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, a government university in Hanoi.

He said it would be provided next year, but he gave no details on payment or exact timing. Esper also was meeting in Hanoi with senior Vietnamese government officials.

It is his first visit to the country since becoming defence secretary in July.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich shake hands in Hanoi, Vietnam. PHOTO: AP