Dennis Rodman is on his controversial diplomatic swag again as he made his fifth trip to North Korea. Usually Rodman goes to check his homie, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodmans arrival actually coincided with the release of Otto Warmbier, an American who spent more than 17 months detained in North Korea, but he wasnt a part of that either.
Rodman, who landed in the increasingly isolated nuclear-armed city of Pyongyang Tuesday, was photographed presenting North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il Guk with a copy of Trump’s book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”
The five-time NBA champion has traveled to North Korea over the past several years for informal “basketball diplomacy”, always with the intent of doing something positive.
Some believe that President Trump actually sent Rodman on an undercover diplomatic mission.
Rodman says his business is sports, not politics.
“I’m just trying to open the door,” Rodman told reporters, wearing sunglasses and a dark shirt and baseball cap with the logo of his trip’s sponsor, a crypto-currency provider for the legal marijuana industry.
“My purpose is to actually see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea, so thats the main thing,” said Rodman, who wore his familiar facial piercings and was escorted through customs and immigration by two handlers.
The NBA Hall of Famer has been labeled as perhaps the only person in the world who has personal relationships with both the US President — he participated on Trump’s pre-presidency reality TV show, “The Celebrity Apprentice” — and the North Korean leader.
Rodman calls Kim a “friend for life”, despite the young leader being accused of executing hundreds of people and ruling with an unforgiving iron fist. Critics have attacked his relationship with Jong Un, which Rodman says is based on basketball not politics.
In an exclusive CNN interview, Dennis Rodman gets upset when asked about Kenneth Bae, who is being held in North Korea. More from CNN at http://www.cnn.com/
A US national security spokesman, Michael Anton, told CNN that Rodman was not acting as a representative of the US government or President Donald Trump and stated that he does not believe the President has spoken to Rodman since he entered office.
The basketball star’s visit is expected to last four nights. Rodman, for all of his quirks and zany ways, is obviously committed to bridging relations between America and North Korea and helping a country suffering under an oppressive regime to step into the 21st century a bit through sports.