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Canada launches mission to map, claim North Pole

Published on Aug 9, 2014 6:01 AM

OTTAWA (AFP) - A scientific mission to map the seabed surrounding the North Pole got underway on Friday amid Canada's push to claim the area and surrounding Arctic waters ahead of Russia and others.

After a decade of surveying the country's eastern and far north seabeds and gathering supporting evidence, Canada filed a UN application in December seeking to vastly expand its Atlantic sea boundary and signaled intentions to claim the North Pole.

Russian President Vladimir Putin followed suit by ordering his country's military to step up its presence in the Arctic, amid competing claims by countries that also include Norway and Denmark.

Russia and Canada have overlapping claims to both the North Pole as well as large swathes of the Arctic that the US Geological Survey thinks could hold 13 per cent of the world's undiscovered oil and up to 30 percent of its hidden natural gas reserves.

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