Denmark says Greenland is a national security concern as ‘great powers’ circle
Denmark has made Greenland a top national security priority after Donald Trump expressed an interest in buying the territory.
Mr Trump raised the possibility of purchasing the vast land mass for the United States earlier this year, due to its abundant natural resources and potential future logistical value.
Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister responded at the time that it was not for sale, leading to a diplomatic spat in which Mr Trump called her "nasty" and cancelled a trip to Denmark.
Now, Denmark’s foreign and military intelligence agency has warned of increasing tensions over Greenland involving major powers, including the US, China and Russia, and highlighted the threat ahead of others like terrorism and cybercrime.
Lars Findsen, of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, said: "We have decided to start this year’s Intelligence Risk Assessment with a chapter on the Arctic, as the interests of the great powers in the Arctic have direct impact on, and growing significance for, the Kingdom of Denmark.
"Despite the Arctic nations’ shared ambition to keep the region free of security policy disagreements, the military focus on the Arctic is growing. A power game is unfolding between great powers Russia, the United States and China that deepens tensions in the region."
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In August, the same month Mr Trump’s interest became public, Denmark sent its biggest Navy ship into Greenland waters, the first time it has done so.
Greenland is the biggest island in the world but home to only 55,000 people. It is rich in rare-earth minerals and its waters are expected to become more navigable as climate change progresses.
It gained self-rule in 2009 but Denmark retains authority over its defence and foreign affairs.
The US already has a major base, housing 600 personnel, in the north-west of the island. It is the US military’s northernmost installation.