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Canada and Denmark End Arctic ‘Whiskey War’ With New Land Border

  • Hans Island solution comes amid broader regional disputes
  • Groundwork for peaceful deal was laid with exchange of alcohol
A satellite image of Hans Island between Canada, left, and Denmark, right, in 2016.

A satellite image of Hans Island between Canada, left, and Denmark, right, in 2016.

Photographer: USGS/NASA/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images

A 49-year spat between Canada and Denmark over ownership of a barren Arctic island formally ended on Tuesday, with high-ranking officials from both nations celebrating the decision to divide up the tiny scrap of land.

After decades of sometimes vigorous disagreement, sovereign claims to Hans Island were resolved with the decision to bisect the island, creating a one-kilometer-long border (0.6 miles) between Canada and Greenland, an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.