BIKINIANS TO MEET WITH U.S. INTERIOR SECRETARY

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (April 20, 1998 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---A ten-person delegation of Bikinians from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, including Mayor Tomaki Juda and Senator Henchi Balos, will meet with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, in Washington Tuesday to discuss a series of continuing issues.

Among the matters of concern is the need for U.S. assurance that the atoll, scene of nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s and now open to lagoon diving tours, is completely safe for rehabilitation.

Other matters to be considered are desalinization of sea water on Bikini, resettlement funding and food assistance for displaced Bikinians living on Kili Island and elsewhere in the Marshalls.

A U.S. experimental bomb blast the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima explosions took place at Bikini in 1954.

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