The Marshall Islands,
officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is a Micronesian island
nation in the western Pacific Ocean, located north of Nauru and Kiribati,
east of the Federated States of Micronesia
and south of the U.S. territory of Wake Island, to which it lays claim.
a German trading company settled on the islands in 1885 the Marshall Islands
remained inhabited, and they became part of the protectorate of German New
Guinea some years later. Japan
conquered the islands in World War I, and administered them as a League of Nations mandate.
War II, the United States
occupied the islands, and they were added to the Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands (including several more island groups in the South Sea).
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States
tested 66 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands,
including the largest nuclear test the United States ever conducted.
Nuclear claims between the United States
and the Marshall Islands
are ongoing, and health effects still linger from these tests.
the Government of the Marshall
Islands was officially established and the
country became self-governing. In 1986 the Compact of Free Association with the
entered into force, granting the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) its
sovereignty. The Compact provided for aid and U.S.
defense of the islands in exchange for continued U.S. military use of the missile
testing range at Kwajalein Atoll. The independence
was formally completed under international law in 1990, when the UN officially
ended the Trusteeship status.