Most land mine use by US military banned, except for Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration announced Tuesday that it will restrict the use of antipersonnel landmines by the U.S. military, aligning the country’s policy more closely with an international treaty banning deadly explosives.

The announcement reverses a more permissive stance of then-President Donald Trump and concludes a review that has spanned more than a year.

Anti-personnel landmines are buried underground or scattered on the surface, and they can pose a deadly threat to civilians long after the fighting has ended.

Under the new policy, the United States will limit the use of these explosives outside of its efforts to help defend South Korea against a possible North Korean invasion.

That leaves the United States short of full compliance with the Ottawa Convention, the 1997 treaty meant to eliminate antipersonnel landmines.

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

“The world has once again witnessed the devastating impact that anti-personnel landmines can have in the context of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine, where Russian forces’ use of such munitions and others caused extensive damage to civilians and civilian objects,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

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