Wednesday 18 September 2019

President told 'no thanks' Greenland not for sale

Greenland, which covers more than 800,000 square miles, is officially the world's largest island (stock photo)
Greenland, which covers more than 800,000 square miles, is officially the world's largest island (stock photo)

Nick Allen and Richard Orange

Greenland has declared itself "not for sale" after Donald Trump floated the idea of buying the massive glacier-covered island as part of his strategy to counter China and Russia.

The Pentagon regards Greenland, which is a semi- autonomous Danish territory, as valuable to US national security interests and a potential location for a greater military presence.

Greenland is home to the Thule Air Base, the most northern US military facility, which is part of the American early warning system for incoming ballistic missiles.

The base, which is 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle in north-west Greenland, has 600 US personnel.

Last year the US succeeded in preventing China from establishing several airports in Greenland.

The island is rich in natural resources including oil, coal, diamonds, gold, iron ore, zinc, uranium and rare earth elements.

Much of that is under the ice, which covers 80pc of Greenland, but given the increasing rate of melting the resources could become accessible in future. Two of Greenland's largest ice melts to date were recorded by Nasa this summer.

But Kim Kielsen, Greenland's premier, said: "Greenland is not for sale and cannot be sold." Politicians in Denmark called the idea "mad" and "ridiculous".

And Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, an MP for the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, which supports independence for Greenland, said: "It's a 'No, thank you'."

Greenland, which covers more than 800,000 square miles, is officially the world's largest island. Australia is bigger, but is classed as a continent.

The territory is part of the Danish realm.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News