Friday , 20 September 2019
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US Covets Greenland

T K NANDANAN, KOCHI

THE USA is an absolute epitome of modernity having been shaped by its citizens. Or, it can be said the USA is a manmade paradise on earth.  It is a country which always wants to innovate in everything. Americans are the leaders. Having utilised the country’s resources to a great extent, now they want to buy the largest island in the world – Greenland – to tap its unexplored natural resources. US President Donald Trump has expressed his wish to buy Greenland. The largest island with a sparse population of around 58000 belongs to Denmark.  It is away from Europe but closer to Canada; it is located in the North American continent. And so, it is quite natural that Trump has sought to buy it from Denmark. But Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has termed Trump’s wish ‘absurd’, triggering a diplomatic row of sorts. Trump’s interest in Greenland indicates the island’s increasing geopolitical importance. Why the US is covetous of Greenland? Greenland lies in the Arctic region which is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance. Eighty per cent of its 811,000 square miles are ice-capped. It houses 13 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil, 30 per cent of its untapped gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds and other virgin resources. It is important to the whole world, not just the superpowers at the moment as its ice sheet, miles thick in parts, is melting in an unprecedented way exposing still more fossil fuel. Also, its strategic value is linked tightly to new North Atlantic shipping lanes, opening up due to melting polar ice caps. The new lanes have dramatically decreased maritime trade travel times, which generally include travelling through the Panama or Suez canals to circumnavigate the world. So, the region becomes more and more important, and if the largest island becomes part of the US, surely it could influence the world order. Perhaps, the immense natural wealth hidden deep in the snow of the island may have enticed the Yankees. So they will keep pestering Denmark to part it with offering the best. The craving to possess it began in 1946. Will the US be able to fulfil its dream, although Denmark has outright refused to part with it? Only time will answer the question.

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