DONALD Trump wants to buy Greenland and has asked his aides to look into the idea, reports claim. The US President has discussed the possible purch
DONALD Trump wants to buy Greenland and has asked his aides to look into the idea, reports claim.
The US President has discussed the possible purchase with allies in what would be a shock takeover of European territory.
It would not be the first time an American leader had tried to buy the world’s largest island, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump has repeatedly expressed a desire to buy the autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
At a dinner last spring, the former property tycoon is reported to have mentioned buying Greenland.
“What do you guys think about that?” he asked the room, according to a source.
“Do you think it would work?”
Some of Trump’s administration supported the concept while other dismissed it as “fleeting fascination”, according to the paper.
Trump’s apparent plans have been revealed ahead of his trip to Denmark early next month, which is unrelated to the plans to purchase.
The US has long seen Greenland as strategically important and established a radar base at Thule at the start of the Cold War.
In 1946, the US proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island.
Experts have suggested the US may want to buy Greenland so they could install anti-Russian military installations.
This could include early-warning radar and nuclear bomber bases.
Geographically, Greenland is classified under North America as it lies on the North American tectonic plate.
But politically, country is recognised as part of Europe because it is considered to be a part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
The autonomous Danish dependent territory has limited self-government and its own parliament.
While its government decides on domestic matters – foreign and security policy is handled by Copenhagen.
Denmark contributes two thirds of Greenland’s budget revenue, the rest coming mainly from fishing.
Potential oil, gas and rare earth mineral reserves have also attracted prospecting firms.
Greenland enjoys perpetual daylight for two months each year but more than 80% of the island is covered by an ice cap 4km thick in places.
Global warming is feared to be causing the ice cover to melt increasingly fast but has also increased access to Greenland’s mineral resources.
The island’s population is only 57,000, but the region has struggled with social problems.
Buying Greenland would be an Alaska-type acquisition for Trump’s legacy.
Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the US on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate.
It was made a state by President Eisenhower in 1948.