Most land mine use by US army banned, aside from Korea

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s administration introduced Tuesday it could prohibit using anti-personnel land mines by the U.S. army, aligning the nation’s coverage extra intently with a world treaty banning the lethal explosives.

The announcement reverses a extra permissive stance by then-President Donald Trump, and it concludes a evaluate that has lasted for greater than a yr. Bonnie Jenkins, the State Division’s undersecretary for arms management and worldwide safety, stated the brand new coverage fulfills “a dedication that President Biden made as a candidate,” when he described Trump’s determination as “reckless.”

Anti-personnel land mines are buried underground or scattered on the floor, and so they can pose a deadly risk to civilians lengthy after fight has ended.

Below the brand new coverage, the U.S. will prohibit using these explosives outdoors of its efforts to assist defend South Korea from a possible North Korean invasion. Though the U.S. doesn’t presently have any minefields deployed there, Washington has pledged help for Seoul’s protection, which incorporates anti-personnel mines.

The U.S. has a stockpile of three million anti-personnel land mines. Below the brand new coverage, any that aren’t wanted to guard South Korea can be destroyed. The Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to a query about whether or not any can be discarded.

The exception relating to the Korean Peninsula, which was additionally in place throughout President Barack Obama’s administration, leaves the U.S. wanting full compliance with the Ottawa Conference, the 1997 treaty supposed to get rid of anti-personnel land mines.

The announcement comes as Russia deploys such mines throughout its invasion of Ukraine.

“The world has as soon as once more witnessed the devastating impression that anti-personnel landmines can have within the context of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked battle in Ukraine, the place Russian forces’ use of those and different munitions have brought on intensive hurt to civilians and civilian objects,” Nationwide Safety Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson stated in an announcement.