Ex-real estate developer Trump wants US to buy Greenland: Report

16 Aug 2019 / 12:44 H.

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump hasn’t forgotten his old job — the world’s most-famous real estate developer says he wants the US to acquire the world’s biggest island, according to a report.

Trump has expressed interest in the mostly ice-covered landmass located northeast of Canada, asking advisors if it is possible for the US to acquire Greenland, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

The president has been curious about the territory’s natural resources and geopolitical relevance, the paper reported.

Greenland is a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonized the 772,000 square-mile (two-million square kilometer) island in the 18th century, and is home to nearly 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.

There was no official comment from the White House, and the Danish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

Some Trump advisors say acquiring Greenland could be good for the US, while others called it only a “fleeting fascination” from the president, The Wall Street Journal said.

Others outside the White House say Trump’s interest could be a desire to secure a legacy achievement, the paper reported, and advisors wondered about the potential for research or greater military clout for the US.

The US’s northern-most military base, Thule Air Base, has been located on Greenland for decades.

But Greenland doesn’t quite live up to its lush name — 85% of the island is covered by a 3 km thick ice sheet that contains 10% of the world’s fresh water.

The world’s largest island has suffered from climate change, scientists say, becoming a giant melting icicle that threatens to submerge the world’s coastal areas one day.

July saw unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet, with 12 billion tonnes of ice flowing into the sea.

Trump, who in 2017 withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement to cap global warming levels, is reportedly set to visit Copenhagen in September.

This isn’t the first time the real-estate-developer-turned-president has expressed interest in foreign properties — he has said North Korea’s “great beaches” would make ideal locations for condos. — AFP

email blast