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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the Lao National Cultural Hall in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

40 years after end of Vietnam War, Obama pledges $90M to help Laos clean up US bombs

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During the Vietnam War, American war planes dropped 270 million cluster bombs on the nation of Laos, trying to cut off the supply lines to communist forces.

On Tuesday, President Obama pledged $90 million of U.S. aid over the next three years to help clean up the mess left by those tiny bombs, about 80 million of which never exploded.

That $90 million pledge is twice as much as the United States is currently contributing, according to USA Today.

40 years after end of Vietnam War, Obama pledges $90M to help Laos clean up US bombs

WATCH: During a speech in Laos, Obama said a "spirit of reconciliation" brought him to the country. 

40 years after end of Vietnam War, Obama pledges $90M to help Laos clean up US bombs

WATCH: U.S. bombs have killed or injured 20,000 people since the end of the Vietnam War. Obama pledged to "dramatically increase" funding for bomb disposal.

Put simply, [Laos] is one of the most systematically rights abusing governments in the region.
Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch

Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to visit Laos, which has been strongly criticized by human rights groups over alleged abuses. 

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FILE - In this April 29, 2016 file photo, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte answers questions from the media in Manila, Philippines. The Philippine president-elect encouraged the public to help him in his war against crime and urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who would resist arrest and fight back in their neighborhoods. Duterte told a huge crowd celebrating his presidential victory late Saturday, June 4 in the southern city of Davao that Filipinos who would help him in the bloody war against criminality would be rewarded. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Obama was also set to visit the Philippines, but after President Rodrigo Duterte called him a "son of a whore," the meeting was cancelled. Duterte has a history of lashing out at political entities he suspects are trying to interfere.

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