Greenland

Trump cancels trip after Denmark rules out Greenland sale

Wildlife on Greenland
Getty Images
US President Donald Trump cannot buy Greenland - a region replete with wildlife

In one of the more bizarre stories to come out of the current US administration, it emerged last week that President Donald Trump was interested in buying Greenland, the autonomous Danish territory.

Demark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the suggestion as "absurd".

How has Mr Trump responded? By cancelling his trip to Denmark.

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Could Trump actually buy Greenland?

Greenland
Reuters

US President Donald Trump is said to have discussed the idea of purchasing Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, during dinners and meetings with advisers.

Apparently, such a transaction is unlikely to happen today, but back in 1800s and early 1900s, countries could acquire territory through business deals.

However, law professor Joseph Blocher wrote in 2012 that the "market for sovereign territory seems to have dried up".

"To be sure, there is still an active market for proprietary interests in public land... But borders - sovereign territory, rather than property - do not seem to be for sale."

"Sovereign territory was bought and sold throughout much of American history... But no such market currently exists," he wrote in his paper Selling State Borders.

As for Greenland itself, the territory has said that purchasing it would be out of the question.