White House announces near-total US ban on landmines use

WASHINGTON – The White House on Tues­day announced a return to an almost total ban on the use and production of anti-personnel landmines, leaving an exception for the military facing off against Pyongyang on the Korean peninsula.

A statement said the United States would align policy to “the international treaty prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.” This restores US policy to the position prior to former president Donald Trump’s 2020 deci­sion to authorize landmine use and production.

From now, the US military will “not develop, produce, or acquire” anti-personnel landmines. It also will not export such weapons, ex­cept for their destruction or other non-battlefield usage, the statement says.

The changes reflect Presi­dent Joe Biden’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 (anti-personnel mines) worldwide,” the White House said.

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