Trump acknowledges US' interest in buying Greenland from Denmark
Houses in the village of Upernavik in western Greenland, 11 July 2015. According to news reports, US President Donald J. Trump has 'repeatedly' asked aides about their views on the US buying Greenland. EPA-EFE/FILE/LINDA KASTRUP DENMARK OUT
A handout photo made available by NASA Earth Observatory of a satellite image showing meltwater ponding in northwest Greenland near the ice sheet's edge, 30 July 2019. EPA-EFE/FILE/NASA EARTH OBSERVATORYHANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ilulissat ice fjord, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage, in western Greenland, 15 July 2015. EPA-EFE/FILE/LINDA KASTRUP DENMARK OUT
Thule Air Base of the US Air Force in Greenland, 31 October 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/THOMAS LEKFELDT DENMARK OUT
Washington DC, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday said that Greenland was strategically interesting for his country, although he clarified that acquiring the territory was not a priority issue.
"It's something we talked about," Donald Trump told reporters after they asked about his reported interest in buying the world's largest island, which is politically dependent on Denmark.
The president acknowledged that "the concept came up" and that he considers that it is "strategically interesting," though he added that the issue was not a priority.
"We’re very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark as we protect large portions of the world," he said.
Earlier on Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had said that Trump was "looking" at a possible purchase of Greenland.
"I don't want to predict an outcome. I just know the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a potential Greenland purchase," Kudlow said Sunday on TV.
US media first revealed on Aug. 15 that Trump had asked his advisers at the White House to find out if it was possible to buy Greenland from Denmark, a matter he has mentioned several times in recent weeks during meetings and dinners.
Kudlow said Sunday that it was a "developing" issue and added that many years ago, President Harry Truman (1944-53) also wanted to buy that island.
Truman offered Denmark $100 million (equivalent to around $1.41 billion today, adjusting for inflation) for the huge, ice-covered island after the end of World War II.
According to The Washington Post, the White House has already discussed the legality of the hypothetical purchase, the process to incorporate a territory with its own government and also where the money for the purchase would come from.
Cable news network CNN reported that Trump, a billionaire who made his fortune in real estate development, has asked White House lawyer Pat Cipollone to study the possibility.
It was not clear why Trump would be interested in buying Greenland. Some speculated that it was because of the island's natural resources while others thought it was due to its geostrategic importance because of its proximity to the Arctic.
Greenland is an island located to the northeast of Canada. About 75 percent of its surface is covered by ice.
Its area of 2.16 million square kilometers (836,300 square miles) makes it the largest island in the world, although it is inhabited by only about 56,000 people, mostly of Inuit ethnicity.
Although Greenland politically belongs to Denmark, it is an autonomous territory that since 2009 has governed itself in all aspects but foreign, defense and monetary policy. EFEEPA