The Danish prime minister is lashing out at Donald Trump after the American president confirms that he was interested in buying the island of Greenland, saying that the Danish territory was definitely not for sale.
A report earlier this week from The Wall Street Journal claimed that Trump has frequently raised the idea of purchasing Greenland and has taken careful considerations about the benefits of owning the country. The report noted that Trump brought up the idea after learning that Denmark had financial difficulties because of the subsidies paid to the island, which is a dedicated territory. Donald Trump thought that selling Greenland could be a consideration for the Danish government, the report noted.
Trump confirmed on Sunday that buying Greenland was a consideration, though he said it was not a high priority for the United States. He added that the United States is allies with Denmark, and said that the idea of purchasing Greenland would be a way to protect Denmark.
Though the island is sparsely populated and much is uninhabitable due to large swaths of snow and ice, it holds strategic importance due to its location between Europe and the United States. Greenland is home to Thule Air Base, the northernmost base for the U.S. military, which has a radar and learning post that can detect and warn about incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles.
It was not clear what plans Donald Trump may have had for Greenland, or whether it would be treated as a territory of the United States.
Now, the Danish government is speaking out against the idea of the United States buying the island.
"Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland," Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in an interview with the newspaper Sermitsiaq. "I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously."
Frederiksen added that conversations about the United States buying Greenland were "an absurd discussion," CNN reported.It was not clear what the United States may have offered to pay for the purchase of Greenland. Though Trump earned some mockery for discussions about purchasing Greenland, he is not the first American president to reportedly broach the idea.
The United States reportedly tried to purchase the island under Harry Truman, and William Seward raised the idea in 1867 while he was serving as secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson. Seward ended up engineering the purchase of the territory of Alaska, another idea that was widely mocked at the time.