US restricts use of landmines to Korean peninsula

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has decided to drastically limit its use of landmines, the White House announced on Tuesday, despite the fact that they are banned by many countries around the world, including their allies. ‘NATO.

US President Joe Biden believes these landmines have “a disproportionate impact on civilians, including children, long after the fighting has stopped,” the White House said in a statement.

This decision suffers from only one exception, that of the American antipersonnel mines disseminated on the Korean peninsula because of the exceptional situation in this region and the commitment of the United States to defend South Korea, added the American presidency. .

According to the White House, the US government’s initiative will align US policy with the Ottawa Convention, the international treaty prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines.

The move “stands in stark contrast to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where there is overwhelming evidence that Russian forces are using explosive ordnance, including landmines, irresponsibly,” said Stanley Brown, a senior department official. of state.

The United States will also destroy all of its stockpiles of antipersonnel mines, except those required for the defense of South Korea, he added, or about 3 million explosive devices.

The US military last used landmines in 1991 during the Gulf War, except for an isolated case in Afghanistan in 2002, he said.

The administration of Barack Obama ended the production or acquisition of mines in 2014, but former President Donald Trump relaxed restrictions on the use of these weapons in 2020.

(Report Chris Gallagher; French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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