Marshall Islands begins world court nuclear disarmament case

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The tiny South Pacific state of the Marshall Islands is taking three of the world’s nuclear powers to the United Nations’ highest court in an effort to breathe new life into disarmament negotiations.

Preliminary hearings got underway Monday on whether the International Court of Justice can accept cases filed by the Marshall Islands — home to the Bikini Atoll nuclear testing site — against India, Pakistan and Britain urging those powers to resume negotiations to eradicate the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

The Marshall Islands filed cases against all nine nations that have declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons: The United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. But only the cases against Britain, India and Pakistan got to this preliminary stage of proceedings.