President Donald Trump is making light of his own idea of buying Greenland from Denmark, tweeting a doctored photo of Trump Tower looming over a small village in the Arctic territory. Trump jokes on Twitter, "I promise not to do this to Greenland!"
Trump acknowledged Sunday that he is "strategically" interested in such a deal, but said it's not a priority of his administration. He told reporters, "It's not No. 1 on the burner."
I promise not to do this to Greenland! pic.twitter.com/03DdyVU6HA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said Greenland is not for sale and Trump's idea of buying it is "an absurd discussion." At a meeting Tuesday in Iceland of the Nordic government leaders, Greenland Premier Kim Kielsen told The Associated Press that Trump's idea "is not something to joke about."
Mette Frederiksen, who was visiting the world's largest island to meet Premier Kim Kielsen, told reporters: "Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic. I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant." Frederiksen said Sunday that the Arctic, with resources that Russia and others could exploit for commercial gain, "is becoming increasingly important to the entire world community."
Retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources in Greenland which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the island's fortunes. However, no oil has yet been found in Greenlandic waters, and 80 percent of the island is covered by an ice sheet that is up to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) thick, which means exploration is only possible in coastal regions.
The meeting in Iceland ended with the signature of a text on climate change involving both the public and private sectors. German Chancellor Angela Merkel later joined the event. Trump, who is set to visit Denmark early next month, had added that buying Greenland is not a priority of his administration.