COPENHAGEN, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The joint Danish/Greenlandic expedition LOMROG III reached the North Pole just before midnight Wednesday, Danish media reported.
According to Danish public broadcaster DR News, the expedition left Svalbard, an Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic, on the icebreaker "Oden" with 17 scientists on board on July 31, and reached the North Pole at 23:43 Danish time (GMT 21:43) on Wednesday.
LOMROG III is working on finding evidence that the seabed below the North Pole is connected to the Danish continental area and thereby claim right in the United Nations to an area of 150,000 square kilometers below the sea level, reports DR news.
The Arctic is bordered by five countries, including Denmark (through Greenland) and world powers U.S. and Russia. It is considered a region of strategic importance with potentially large, unexploited reserves of minerals, oil and gas.
The scientists are collecting samples from the seabed as proof of the Danish claim, together with samples that can tell more about how the climate changes has affected the area over the past thousands of years.
Denmark previously launched a ten-year strategy document outlining its engagement in the Arctic in August 2011.
The strategy, which covers the period 2011 to 2020, aims to protect the Arctic environment, balance natural resources interests with international security issues, and improve maritime safety in the region.
The crew and the scientist on board "Oden" celebrated reaching the North Pole with a ceremony where they went down on the ice and planted a Danish flag on the exact spot that is considered the absolute top of the world.
However, this ceremony was more of symbolic significance and has no real importance for the mission of the LOMROG III expedition.
Denmark will make an official claim over the areas to the UN by November 2014 at the latest.
The expedition is scheduled to return the arctic island on September 14.