Micronesia in the western Pacific consists of some 600 islands grouped into four states: Kosrae Pohnpei Chuuk (Truk) and Yap.

Occupying a very small total land mass it is scattered over an ocean expanse five times the size of France.

Though formally independent in 1986 Micronesia signed a “Compact of Free Association” with the US. Under this Washington took on responsibility for defence and gained the right to set up military bases and deny other nations access to Micronesia.