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Marshall Islands sues nine nuclear powers in international court

The Republic of the Marshall Islands, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, over nuclear disarmament.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   April 24, 2014 at 1:35 PM

THE HAGUE , Netherlands, April 24 (UPI) -- The Republic of the Marshall Islands, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, accusing nine nuclear powers of “flagrant denial of human justice.”

While not seeking compensation, it noted the harm it allegedly suffered because of the nuclear arms race. The suit contends nuclear powers are not abiding by Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty requiring nations to pursue negotiations in good faith, leading to the cessation of the nuclear arms race. The lawsuit explains the nuclear nations’ actions in modernizing their nuclear arsenals while avoiding disarmament negotiations.

The Marshall Islands was a nuclear testing site for the United States in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on Earth will ever again experience these atrocities,” said Marshall Islands Foreign Secretary Tony de Brum.

The suit said the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China continuously violate customary international law in failing to disarm. The four other nuclear powers -- Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea -- are not bound by the treaty but are bound by international law.

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