US President Donald Trump has condemned the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's statement that selling Greenland was absurd, saying that it was "inappropriate and not nice".
"It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said no, we'd rather not do it," Trump said in response to Frederiksen, who on Tuesday remarked that the idea of selling the semi-autonomous Greenland from Denmark was "an absurd discussion."
"She's not talking to me, she's talking to the United States of America," Trump added.
The denouncement comes as Trump on Wednesday rescheduled the meeting with Frederiksen, which was slated to take place in two weeks, for another time because she had shown “no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland.”
The Danish prime minister addressed the postponement, saying that she was “disappointed and surprised” by Trump’s decision, but told reporters that “the invitation for a stronger strategic cooperation with the Americans in the Arctic is still open.”
She also noted that the "recent developments" in the Arctic region mean there is need for stronger cooperation between Denmark, Greenland, and the United States.
Over the weekend, Donald Trump confirmed sensational reports that he was eyeing up the United States' biggest territorial acquisition yet, but said that it wasn't a top priority. Although home to fewer than 60,000 people, Greenland is bigger than Mexico.
“It’s something we talked about,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “The concept came up and I said certainly, strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to (Denmark) a little bit.”
As initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, he was considering the purchase both due to the island's good strategic position and because of its vast mineral resources.
Greenland – the biggest island on the planet – is an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark with a limited government that takes care of all matters except for defence and foreign policy.
It is home to the Thule Air Base, the US’s northernmost base, which was set up in 1941 and currently provides early missile warning, space surveillance and control.
The United States previously considered buying Greenland for $100 million in gold in 1946, but Denmark refused to accept the offer.