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Trump has asked top White House aides to explore the possibility of buying Greenland several times, directing advisers to determine whether such a purchase was possible and what natural resources were available on the island, the Wall Street Journal reported. The president’s request was said to be met with a mix of surprise and interest, with some advisers dismissing the idea as a passing thought and others touting its economic potential.
Politicians in Greenland were quick to shoot down the possibility of a sale on Friday. The White House has yet to publicly address reports.
“We have a good cooperation with USA, and we see it as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer,” a spokesman for Greenland Premier Kim Kielsen said in a statement obtained by FOX Business. “Of course, Greenland is not for sale. Because of the unofficial nature of the news, the Government of Greenland has no further comments.”
Greenland is a semi-autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The island has a population of roughly 58,000 people and has many natural resources and mineral deposits, but relies on nearly $600 million in subsidies from Denmark to boost its economy, according to government statistics.
“Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We’re open for business, not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign ministry wrote on Twitter.
While Trump’s apparent interest in the island was met with surprise in political circles, it wouldn’t be the first time that the U.S. government has attempted to purchase Greenland. Denmark declined a $100 million offer from President Harry Truman in 1946.