Dennis Rodman Heads to North Korea for Some More Basketball Diplomacy

Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman watch a basketball game in Pyongyang

Not even the recent purge/execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle could put a damper on the blossoming friendship between the North Korean leader and the washed up basketball star.

Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea for the third time on Thursday to train the national team and engage in some basketball diplomacy. The aging star and his documentary crew are scheduled to spend four days in the communist country helping to train a team of North Korean basketball players for a January exhibition in Pyongyang.

The January 8 exhibition is a very important one because it will celebrate the birthday of North Korean leader and Dennis Rodman bestie, Kim Jong-un. The match between North Korea and a group of ex-NBA players will certainly be an exciting one – the losing side gets purged. And a word of warning to the audience – you’d better clap until your hands are raw, because half-hearted clapping is grounds for execution in North Korea.

But Dennis Rodman doesn’t care. The ex-NBA player told reporters he doesn’t fear for his safety in North Korea.

“I mean, whatever his uncle has done, and whoever’s done anything in North Korea, I have no control over that. I mean, these things have been going on for years and years and years,” he told Reuters news agency.

“I’m just going over there to do a basketball game and have some fun,” he added.

While Rodman refused to talk politics with Kim Jong-un, including asking for American Kenneth Bae’s release, he reiterated his hope that basketball diplomacy would bring the feuding nations together.

“I hope this is going to engage American people, especially Obama, to just to try to talk to them,” he said.

The response from the U.S?

Dennis Rodman is not a representative of the US government in his trip to North Korea,” US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Tuesday.

“We need to focus on what’s really important here when it comes to North Korea… the brutality of the North Korean regime he’s going to meet.”

Maybe the U.S. will luck out on this trip and Rodman will quietly disappear… like Kim Jong-un’s uncle.

Via: BBC News

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