The Partition of Vietnam, Hanoi
Travel tips > Asia > Vietnam > Hanoi > The Partition of Vietnam
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The Partition of Vietnam was the establishment of the 17th parallel as the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone in 1954, splitting Vietnam into halves after the First Indochina War.
The Geneva Conference was held at the conclusion of the First Indochina War. As part of the post-war settlement announced on July 21, 1954, Vietnam was temporarily partitioned into northern and southern zones pending unification on the basis of internationally supervised free elections to be held in 1956. The elections were never held. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north, controlled by Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh since the August Revolution in 1945, became formally recognized in the international communities as a separate state. The capital was Hanoi. The south under Emperor Bảo Đại became the State of Vietnam, commonly known as South Vietnam, with its capital at Saigon. The International Control Commission was formed to supervise the ceasefire and implementation of the Geneva Accords which included universal elections over the whole of Viet Nam.
With the failure to implement universal elections to end temporary partitioning of the country conflict between the new 'States' of north and the south commenced and soon developed into the Vietnam War. (See Background to the Vietnam War.)
Vietnam was re-united in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War. The Fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces on April 30 is commemorated as Reunification Day or 'Liberation Day' (Ngày Giải Phóng), now a public holiday in Vietnam.
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