3 Nov 2005

US federal officials refuse comment on Marshalls' call for further nuclear compensation

11:25 am on 3 November 2005

The United States' department of insular affairs has declined to give any details of talks within the US administration about its dealings with the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands is seeking more compensation from the US for the nuclear tests it carried out on the islands.

The US paid compensation to the Marshalls under previous agreements, but as health problems are said to be far more devastating than expected, the Marshall Islands is now seeking further support.

The US interior department official Joseph McDermott says agencies within the federal family are discussing what to do about the health problems in the Marshall Islands.

"...set up the next steps which the various agencies are handling, and of course those are matters which are between the United States government and the Marshall Islands government, and that's how we usually handle them."

Mr McDermott says no decisions have been made, and the agencies are only discussing what to do next.