Laos: Waiting for Red China

In Laos' off-and-on-again civil war, Premier Boun Oum and his anti-Communist government talked of victory last week and rushed construction of a concrete and steel war memorial in the capital city of Vientiane. Closing in from north and south, government troops finally cleared a dusty, 150-mile slash of road that serves as the country's major north-south highway between Vientiane and Luangprabang.

Both the talk and the war monument were premature. The Communist-led rebels still held most of north central Laos, and the road into their lair was studded with land mines, freshly imported from Red China. Though Boun Oum's generals predicted...

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