President Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland from Denmark in a bold move to expand US territory.
The president has reportedly spoken to his aides regarding the purchase, asking them to investigate whether acquiring the desirable Danish territory, to capitalize on its resources and geopolitical significance, “would work.”
The self-governing 811,000-square-mile island in the Atlantic is home to around 56,000 people and is technically in North American waters, but its foreign and security policy is handled by the Danish government.
However, according to Danish foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger, the island is not for sale.
“We are open for business, but we’re NOT for sale,” Bagger told Reuters.
Nypost.com reports: People familiar with the deliberations said Trump asked his White House counsel to look into the matter, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported about his interest.
Two of the people told the Journal that the president’s aides were divided on the matter — with some touting it as solid economic strategy and others rejecting it as a passing fancy.
On Thursday, a Trump ally told The Associated Press that the commander-in-chief had discussed the purchase but was not serious about it.
And a GOP congressional aide said Trump brought up the idea in conversations with lawmakers enough times to make them wonder, but they have not taken his comments seriously.
Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Trump plans to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during his meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, according to Reuters.
Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the notion.
“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season,” former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeted.
Trump has been curious about the natural resources and geopolitical relevance of the ice-covered country, a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonized the 772,000-square-mile island in the 18th century, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The island also is home to the US Thule Air Base, some 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and features a missile early warning system, according to CNN.
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.
And in 1867, Secretary of State William Seward showed interest in purchasing the island, CNN reported.
There was no official comment from the White House and the Danish embassy in Washington.