A Land Mine Embarrassment

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OSLO: Ignoring U.S. objections, delegates from nearly 100 nations have endorsed a draft of the proposed global ban on land mines, leaving President Clinton stranded in a political minefield of his own. According to TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson, Clinton's unhappy dilemma is this: On the one hand, he would love to be seen signing a widely popular (and Princess Di-endorsed) pact and to avoid being lumped with such pariah states as China and Libya. On the other hand, he faces intense Pentagon hostility to the agreement.

The U.S. had sought to continue using mines in Korea and to withdraw from the agreement in times of war. It had delayed the vote on the accord by 24 hours, to engage in an ultimately futile round of last-minute lobbying. The Oslo conference is expected to formally ratify the accord Thursday, following which it will be presented to governments for ratification in December.