Move over, Santa Claus: Denmark wants to control the North Pole.
In a 58-page report released on Monday, the Scandinavian nation announced that by 2014, it would lay claim to three areas around Greenland, including an area north of Greenland which among other areas covers the North Pole.
Danish officials said the report, titled Arctic Strategy 2011-2020, was not about the prestige of owning one of the earth's poles, but rather was intended to facilitate sustainable development of the Arctic with full respect for nature and the environment, according to a statement from Lene Esperson, Denmark's foreign minister, quoted by Agence France-Presse.
However, claiming the North Pole is easier said than done, because four other countries are trying to do so as well. Canada, Norway, Russia and the United States all control land far enough north for them to argue that the pole should be part of their territory.
All five countries signed the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration, which called for negotiated settlements to claims in the Arctic region, AFP reported. The Arctic and Antarctic regions, including the North and South Poles, are some of the last places in the world where political control has not been settled.
According to AFP, the five countries in question, all of which border the Arctic region, are entitled to a 200 nautical mile economic zone from their coastlines, but claims for extending their territories will be decided under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.