Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy
The Obama Administration is pleased to announce another important step to address the humanitarian impacts of anti-personnel landmines (APL). Specifically, the United States is aligning its APL policy outside the Korean Peninsula with the key requirements of the Ottawa Convention, the international treaty prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APL that more than 160 countries have joined, including all our NATO Allies. In light of this announcement, the United States will:
- not use APL outside the Korean Peninsula;
- not assist, encourage, or induce anyone outside the Korean Peninsula to engage in activity prohibited by the Ottawa Convention; and
- undertake to destroy APL stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea.
These measures build on our June 2014 announcement that the United States will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with the Ottawa Convention, including to replace such munitions as they expire in the coming years.
Even as we take these further steps, the unique circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea preclude us from changing our anti-personnel landmine policy there at this time. We will continue our diligent efforts to pursue solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to accede to the Ottawa Convention while ensuring our ability to meet our alliance commitments to the Republic of Korea.
More broadly, the United States shares the humanitarian goals of the Ottawa Convention, and is the world’s single largest financial supporter of humanitarian mine action, providing more than $2.3 billion in aid since 1993 in more than 90 countries for conventional weapons destruction programs. We will continue to support this important work, and remain committed to a continuing partnership with Ottawa States Parties and non-governmental organizations in addressing the humanitarian impact of APL.