Hans Island is a sterile uninhabited island, which is located in the centre of the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait–the strait that separates Ellesmere Island from northern Greenland and connects Baffin Bay with the Lincoln Sea.
The island is about 1,290 m long and 1199 m wide having an area of about 1.3 Km2. The Hans Island is the smallest island in the Kennedy Channel off the Washington land coast.
The reason behind the dispute over this island is that the strait at this point is 35 km wide, placing the island within the territorial waters of both Canada and Greenland.
Since Greenland is a part of Denmark so both Canada and Denmark militaries periodically visit the island to remove the other guy’s flag. And this ‘Whisky War’ began in 1984.
The Denmark military leaves a bottle of Danish schnapps and the Canadian military leaves a bottle of Canadian whiskey each time they visit the Hans island to remove other guy’s flag.
According to 1972-73 border treaty, the Government of Kingdom of Denmark and the Government of Canada decided to establish the area between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Islands a dividing line beyond which neither Party will exercise its rights under the Convention on the Continental Shelf of April/29/1958 and will extend its sovereign rights for the purpose of exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the continental shelf.
But it didnt work well because the divinding of the island (longitude and latitude) couldnt draw a line between 122 and 123 points leaving a certain area again left!
Currently Denmark claims that according to the geological evidences Hans Island is a part of Greenland and therefore it belongs to Denmark by extension of the Court’s ruling.
But still the territory’s true ownership isnt to any country officially.
Is there any geographer who wants to share some thoughts about this Island dispute?