On September 23, the White House announced a new policy committing to not use antipersonnel landmines anywhere except on the Korean Peninsula and pledging not to assist, encourage, or induce other nations to use, stockpile, produce or transfer antipersonnel mines outside of Korea. The policy comes on the heels of a June 27 policy announcement that committed the U.S. to a ban on the production and acquisition of antipersonnel mines.
In commenting on the new policy, President Barack Obama cited the dedicated efforts of Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and civil society.
Senator Patrick Leahy described the no use commitment as “a crucial step that makes official what has been de facto U.S. practice for a decade and a half.”
The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines views the new policy as a positive step, but said the geographic exception for Korea must be overcome if the U.S. is to ever join the Mine Ban Treaty.