Jens Borch Scharnberg was leery when a powerful empire sent a diplomat to his tiny, wind-swept fjord in one of the most remote places on Earth.

The 41-year-old is the principal of the school in Kangerlussuaq, a quiet Arctic village of about 500 in northwest Greenland. Americans are fairly common there. The U.S. military built the ice-covered island’s biggest airstrip during World War II, and maintains a significant research outfit in a town whose only major road leads to a famous and closely studied glacier.

But this diplomat’s visit was in October 2019, just two months after that had suggested buying and annexing Greenland. The idea became the subject of international ridicule, but rattled the autonomous Danish territory, which is

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