President Donald Trump said the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark cropped up during talks within his administration. “I don’t know. It got released somehow. It’s just something we talked about,” said President Trump.
He compared the possibility of a purchase as “a large real estate deal” and stated that it is not a “number one” priority for the Trump administration.
“Denmark essentially owns it” and “We’re very good allies with Denmark,” said President Trump, who continued, “We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.”
“So the concept came up and I said, certainly, strategically, it’s interesting, and we’d be interested,” said the president, adding “It’s not number one on the burner.”
President Trump likened Greenland to “a large real estate deal” and a strategic move for the United States, stating, “a lot of things can be done.”
He stated that Greenland is an economic burden for Denmark. “It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they’re losing almost $700 million a year,” said the president and “so they carry it at a great loss.”
The president stated, “We’re a big ally of Denmark, we help Denmark and we protect Denmark.”
He told reporters about the possibility of visiting Denmark after the Poland trip. “We may be going to Denmark—not for this reason at all,” said President Trump., who stated that the visit to Denmark is not confirmed yet.
When asked by a reporter about how much Greenland is worth, President Trump replied that they “haven’t gotten there yet” and they need to “find out whether or not they have any interest.”
Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Sunday, Aug. 18, said, “Greenland is not for sale.” She continued that jokes aside, they “would naturally love to have an even closer strategic relationship with the U.S.”
Frederiksen affirmed that the United States is Denmark’s “most important ally” and looks forward to President Trump visiting Denmark because it is “important for the Danish-American relationship,” she said.
The semi-autonomous Danish territory of Greenland lies between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. For decades the U.S. military has operated from Greenland Thule Air Base.
With melting ice, Greenland may potentially have untapped natural resources, such as oil, mineral, and rare earths that high-tech nations covet.
According to a South China Morning Post report, a Chinese-funded company proposed last year to build three new international airports on Greenland. The proposals triggered alarm bells in the Danish government and the Trump administration.
Furthermore, a Forbes report revealed that China is already in Greenland via an Australian company, Greenland Minerals that Shenghe Resources Holdings, a Chinese producer of rare earths, has acquired a stake as its largest shareholder.
While Greenlanders and the Danish government may have rejected Trump administration’s idea, it is hard to deny China’s growing ambition for an Arctic presence.