News Update

White House announces US military land mine ban with Korea exception

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The Biden administration announced a near total ban on land mine usage within the United States military. According to the White House, Tuesday’s announcement is the result of “a comprehensive policy review” on anti-personnel land mines (APL) that lasted over a year.

“These changes reflect the President’s belief that these weapons have disproportionate impact on civilians, including children, long after fighting has stopped, and that we need to curtail the use of APL worldwide,” the White House said in a fact sheet on the announcement. “They also complement longstanding U.S. leadership in the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.”

The military land mine ban has a notable exception. According to the fact sheet, the ban applies “outside of the Korean Peninsula.”

“The unique circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea preclude the United States from changing anti-personnel landmine policy on the Korean Peninsula at this time,” the White House said. “As the United States commits to continuing our diligent efforts to pursue material and operational alternatives to APL, the security of our ally the Republic of Korea will continue to be a paramount concern.”

The U.S. has a stockpile of 3 million anti-personnel land mines. Under the new policy, any that aren’t needed to protect South Korea will be destroyed.

Tuesday’s ban brings the U.S.  closer to compliance with the Ottawa Convention. The 1997 treaty was intended to eliminate anti-personnel land mines.

The ban also represents a shift from a more permissive stance under former President Donald Trump. Then-candidate Joe Biden described former President Trump’s stance as “reckless.”

“The president believes strongly that we need to curtail their use worldwide,” National Security spokesperson John Kirby said at a White House briefing Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Jimmie Johnson: TODAY, THE U-S JOINED ITS NATO ALLIES IN A BAN ON THE USE OF ANTI-PERSONNEL LAND MINES IN THE MILITARY.
THE MOVE ALIGNS THE U-S MORE CLOSELY WITH THE OTTAWA CONVENTION,
AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY FROM 1997 THAT BANNED THEIR USE.
THE EXPLOSIVES — WHICH ARE BURIED UNDERGROUND — POSE A THREAT TO CIVILIANS LONG AFTER A CONFLICT IS OVER.
THE U-S LAND MINE BAN HAS ONE NOTABLE EXCEPTION — ALONG THE BORDER OF NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA.
THE U-S DOES NOT CURRENTLY HAVE ANY MINEFIELDS DEPLOYED THERE — BUT HAS NOT RULED OUT THE POSSIBILITY.

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The Biden administration announced a near total ban on land mine usage within the United States military. According to the White House, Tuesday’s announcement is the result of “a comprehensive policy review” on anti-personnel land mines (APL) that lasted over a year.

“These changes reflect the President’s belief that these weapons have disproportionate impact on civilians, including children, long after fighting has stopped, and that we need to curtail the use of APL worldwide,” the White House said in a fact sheet on the announcement. “They also complement longstanding U.S. leadership in the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.”

The military land mine ban has a notable exception. According to the fact sheet, the ban applies “outside of the Korean Peninsula.”

“The unique circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea preclude the United States from changing anti-personnel landmine policy on the Korean Peninsula at this time,” the White House said. “As the United States commits to continuing our diligent efforts to pursue material and operational alternatives to APL, the security of our ally the Republic of Korea will continue to be a paramount concern.”

The U.S. has a stockpile of 3 million anti-personnel land mines. Under the new policy, any that aren’t needed to protect South Korea will be destroyed.

Tuesday’s ban brings the U.S.  closer to compliance with the Ottawa Convention. The 1997 treaty was intended to eliminate anti-personnel land mines.

The ban also represents a shift from a more permissive stance under former President Donald Trump. Then-candidate Joe Biden described former President Trump’s stance as “reckless.”

“The president believes strongly that we need to curtail their use worldwide,” National Security spokesperson John Kirby said at a White House briefing Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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