2 Aug 2023

Marshalls agree to US Compact funding deal

From , 6:00 am on 2 August 2023
Bikini Atoll Beach, Marshall Islands, looking Northwest.

Bikini Atoll Beach, Marshall Islands, looking Northwest. Photo: Supplied/ Hawaiilife

The Marshall Islands has agreed to a US Compact funding deal after a last minute push for more funding to address legacy issues from America's nuclear weapons testing fell flat in the US Congress in mid-July.

The agreement, announced on Friday by Marshall Islands chief negotiator Phillip Muller, puts Washington on track to complete security and economic agreements with three north Pacific nations viewed as critical to US defense posture in the Pacific islands. 

Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia had both signed off in May on new funding agreements as part of their Compacts of Free Association with Washington. 

But Marshall Islands leaders were unhappy with the US response to the ongoing health and environmental problems from the 67 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini and Enewetak atolls.

RNZ Pacific Editor Koroi Hawkins spoke with our correspondent in the Marshall Islands Giff Johnson about the deal.