Copenhagen, Denmark - Greenland is not for sale and US President Donald Trump's idea of buying the semi-autonomous Danish territory in the Arctic from Denmark is "an absurd discussion," Denmark's prime minister said.
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.
Even there, conditions are far from ideal due to the long winter with frozen ports, 24-hour darkness and temperatures regularly dropping below minus 20 Fahrenheit (minus 30 Celsius) in the northern parts.