US interest in secure access through Oceania—a vast region including Australia, New Zealand and the small island countries in the central and southern Pacific Ocean. It precludes the establishment of US bases that could have nuclear weapons in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific island states south of the equator. Australia, New Zealand, and other members of the South Pacific Forum have repeatedly condemned the French testing. They have urged the United States to sign the protocols for the Forum-endorsed treaty creating a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone and to take other steps that condemn the French testing. US policymakers in Congress and the administration face a number of decisions that will likely affect US relations with Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific island countries. Although public opinion in Oceania tends to want to continue cooperation with the United States and the West, it had feared that this long peaceful region could become a focal point in East-West nuclear confrontation.