Marshall Islands Marks 61st Anniversary Of Bravo Nuclear Test

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Foreign Minister admonishes U.S. for denying access to historical records

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 3, 2015) – The Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands Tony deBrum has admonished the United States for continuing to deny access to historical records relating to the nuclear weapons detonated in the area in the 1940s and 50s.

The Marshall Islands marked the 61st anniversary of the detonation of the largest US hydrogen bomb yesterday - the Bravo test - with a two hour ceremony.

Mr deBrum said it was proper to remember the injustices caused by the effects of at least 67 tests of nuclear, thermonuclear and atomic weapons.

He said the resulting suffering and hardship to the people of the Marshall islands continues today.

Speakers from affected atolls called for expanded compensation and medical programmes.

Mr deBrum said the Marshall islands is unhappy with the denial of access to historical records relating to the nuclear weapons programme.

In a departure from past ceremonies marking the Bravo anniversary dating back to the 1990s, the government did not invite the U.S. Ambassador to deliver remarks during the programme.

The US Ambassador Thomas Armbruster did, however, sponsor a special ceremony later in the day at the College of the Marshall Islands to unveil a new 20-foot sign painted in honor of Sgt Solomon Sam, the only Marshall Islander to have died in combat in Iraq while serving in the U.S. Army.

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