WASHINGTON – The Danish Prime Minister responded to President Donald Trump’s interest in buying Greenland on Sunday, calling a sale of the island, which functions as an autonomous territory of Denmark, “absurd.”
According to Reuters, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told the Danish broadcaster DR on Sunday that discussion of a sale would be an “absurd discussion.”
Frederiksen was also asked about Trump’s comments by a local newspaper.
“Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland,” she said while traveling with Greenlandic Premier Kim Kielsen to visit children from a Greenlandic orphanage, reported Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq.
News that Trump had considered an attempt to buy Greenland had been met with a mix of derision and skepticism after the Wall Street Journal first reported on the issue last week.
Trump confirms Greenland discussions: ‘We’re looking at it,’ Trump says of potential Greenland purchase
Greenland ‘not for sale’: Greenland’s government tells President Donald Trump the island is ‘not for sale’
Trump confirmed his interest while speaking to reporters on Sunday.
“We’re looking at it,” he said. “It’s not No. 1 on the burner.”
“Essentially, it’s a large real estate deal. A lot of things could be done,” he said. “First we have to find out whether or not they have any interest.”
He added that Denmark is “carrying” Greenland “at a great loss.”
Greenland’s government tweeted last Friday that the island was open for business but “not for sale.”
The United States proposed buying Greenland from Denmark in 1946 for $100 million, the AP and the Journal reported. The United States maintained weather stations and military facilities on the island during World War II.
The United States maintains a large military base – Thule Air Base – in Greenland. It is the U.S. military’s northernmost installation, 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle.