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State

Capital

Marshall Islands

Currency unit

US dollar

Connections

Radioactive

Western Pacific

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History

Sighted in 1529 by Spanish navigator. Made German protectorate in 1885. Taken by Japan in 1914. Made League of Nations Mandate to Japan in 1919. Captured by US forces during world war two in 1944. UN Trust territory 1947 to the United States. Until September 1991 it was an Associated State of the United States. The US was responsible for foreign affairs and defense.

These islands include Bikini and Enewetak where nuclear testing in the atmosphere and in the ocean took place. In this area there have been reports of continuing radiation damage from nuclear testing which ceased in 1958.

Admitted to membership of the UN in September 1991

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Green/Ecology

Serious contamination with radioactive substances from nuclear tests.

A rise in sea level would cause the territories to disappear.

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Human Rights

Much US pressure on the local people over radiation problems.

Last revised 3/4/94


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