US President Donald Trump has ordered his staff to look into purchasing Greenland from the Danish government.
Trump repeatedly brought up the idea of purchasing Greenland with aides in official meetings and dinners, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal published on Thursday.
Greenland is known for its natural resources on its 1,305,178 square km of land and its geopolitical importance in the US – Russia rivalry.
More importantly it is home the US military’s Thule Air Base, developed in 1951 and located 1,207 km from the Arctic circle. It’s the US’ northernmost military base and houses a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can detect intercontinental missiles incoming from Russia.
Greenland is so important the US effectively blocked China from developing three airports on the island in 2018 after Greenland’s prime minister flew to Beijing to meet with Chinese banks to finance new commercial airports.
According to the report, Trump first came on the idea after receiving reports that Denmark’s economy was facing financial troubles due to its commitments to Greenland.
Greenland is home to 56,000 people and the Kingdom of Denmark allows the inhabitants to self-govern itself on domestic matters.
In 1946, US President Harry Truman offered to pay Denmark $100 million for Greenland — which the Kingdom refused.