Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland and has asked aides to look into the idea, according to reports in the United States.
The idea of buying the Denmark-owned island has captured Trump’s imagination, reports the Wall Street Journal .
They say that the president has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland, something once attempted by Harry Truman in 1946.
The paper claims that Trump has asked advisers whether the US can acquire Greenland and then listened with interest when they discuss its resources and geopolitical importance.
Some of his staff have supported the concept, the Wall Street Journal claims, but others have dismissed it as ‘fleeting fascination’ that will never happen.
Greenland has a population of about 56,000 and is a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
While its government decides on domestic matters – foreign and security policy is handled by Cophenhagen.
Trump is set to visit Denmark earlier next month although the visit is unrelated to his desire to purchase the island.
The White House and State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment to the Wall Street Journal’s report.
US officials view Greenland as important to American national-security interests.
A defence treaty between the countries allowed the US military unlimited rights in Greenland at America’s northernmost base, Thule Air Base. Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a US ballistic missile early warning system.
People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Trump’s legacy.
Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate.
It was made a state by President Eisenhower in 1948.
Though it has vast natural resources across its 811,000 square miles, Greenland relies on $591 million of subsidies from Denmark annually, which makes up about 60% of its annual budget, according to US and Danish government statistics.
At a dinner last spring Trump is reported to have mentioned buying Greenland.
“What do you guys think about that?” he asked the room, the person said. “Do you think it would work?”
Kenneth Mortensen, a real-estate agent in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, told the Wall Street Journal that the running joke in Greenland currently is that Trump is traveling to Denmark with the sole intention of buying their island.