11. Note from the Danish Ambassador (Ronne) to Secretary of State Rusk1

No. 93. USA.8


With reference to our recent discussions regarding defense arrangements in Greenland, I have the honor to inform you that the Danish Government has considered the lack of consistency between the declared Danish policy on nuclear weapons on the one hand and the agreement of April 27, 1951, between our two governments concerning the defense of Greenland on the other.
The Danish Government appreciates the assurances recently given by the United States Government that there are no nuclear weapons in Greenland and that no overflights with such weapons are taking place. My Government has also noted with satisfaction the undertaking given by your Government that this situation will not be changed without prior consultation with the Danish Government.
The declaration made by the Danish Government at the opening session of the Danish Parliament on February 6, 1968, included the following section:

“It is the policy of the Government that no nuclear weapons should be found within Danish territory. This policy is also valid for Greenland and for Greenland air space.”

On February 8 the Danish Parliament passed a resolution to the same effect and requesting the Government to get absolute guarantees that no nuclear weapons are stored in Greenland and that Greenland air space is kept free of such weapons so as to ensure that Danish nuclear policy is maintained in all parts of the realm.
I am instructed to ask the U.S. Government that discussions be initiated with a view to reaching agreement as soon as possible between our two governments on supplementing the agreement of April 27, 1951, concerning the defense of Greenland to the effect that no nuclear weapons may under the agreement be stored in or introduced into Greenland including Greenland air space.

Please accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.2

Torben Ronne
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 15 GREENLAND-US. No classification marking. Ronne presented the note to Rusk during a 15-minute meeting with Rusk, Leddy, and McKillop that began at 4:05 p.m. on February 26. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Book) A memorandum of Ronne’s conversation with Rusk was transmitted to Copenhagen in telegram 120936, February 27. (Ibid., National Security File, Country File, Denmark, Vol. 1)
  2. In a March 13 note to Ronne, Rusk acknowledged receipt of the February 27 note and stated that the U.S. Government was “prepared to join in the discussions you have proposed” and would “convey its views to you as soon as possible.” (Ibid.)