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Trump wants US to buy Greenland: report

Washington

US President Donald Trump hasn't forgotten his old job. The world's most-famous real-estate developer says he wants the US to acquire Greenland, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said on Thursday.

Mr Trump has expressed interest in the mostly ice-covered landmass located north-east of Canada, asking advisors if it is possible for the US to acquire this, the world's biggest island.

The president has been curious about the territory's natural resources and geopolitical relevance, the paper reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.

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Greenland is a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonised the 2 million sq km island in the 18th century. The island 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 of Mr Trump's advisors say acquiring Greenland could be good for the US; others have described it as merely a "fleeting fascination" of the president, the WSJ report said.

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

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

Greenland doesn't quite live up to its lush name - 85 per cent of the island is covered by a 3km-thick ice sheet that contains 10 per cent of the world's fresh water.

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

Last month, in an unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet, 12 billion tonnes of ice flowed into the sea.

Mr 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 is not the first time the real-estate-developer-turned-president has expressed interest in foreign properties; he onced said North Korea's "great beaches" would make ideal locations for condos. AFP