YANGON, Myanmar — Launching a landmark visit to long shunned Myanmar, President Obama said Monday he came to ‘‘extend the hand of friendship’’ to a nation moving from persecution to peace. But his praise and personal attention came with an admonition to those in charge: The work of ensuring and protecting freedoms has just begun.
On an overcast and steamy day, Obama touched down Monday morning, becoming the first US president to visit the Asian nation also known as Burma. Tens of thousands of people packed the streets to see his motorcade speed through the city. Many of them waved American flags and took photos with their smartphones.