Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is going to North Korea as part of a Basketball delegation, which means we can probably wave goodbye to world peace. Flamboyant Rodman is heading to the North Korean capital Pyongyang with the VICE Media Company in what is perhaps the most unlikely U.S. visit to the troubled nation ever.
Relations between the United States and North Korea are constantly strained and for the last 50 years the two countries have been officially at war, even if there has been no actual military conflict during that time. With tensions between the two countries at breaking point Dennis Rodman has been thrown into the mix, so we are thinking this could go either way.
Rodman is going to the strict communist country along with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, and a VICE correspondent. The group plus a production team are heading into the extremely totalitarian state to make a documentary for American cable channel HBO, which will air in April.
Rodman’s visit comes at a time of heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States. Recently North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, which the country openly admitted was to serve as a threat towards the U.S. while a recent satellite launch also drew criticism from Washington, as well as Tokyo and Seoul.
Just what the actual intentions of Rodman’s and VICE’s visit are is unknown, but VICE founder and host of the documentary Shane Smith said that the team was embarking on some “Basketball diplomacy” and would be running basketball camps for children in North Korea.
“Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes,” Smith said, “But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing.
“These channels of cultural communication might appear untraditional, and perhaps they are, but we think it’s important just to keep the lines open,” he said. “And if Washington isn’t going to send their Generals then we’ll send our Globetrotters.”
The Generals reference regards the Globetrotter’s long time comedic enemies the Washington Generals, but all eyes will surely be on Dennis Rodman. The extroverted star is covered in tattoos and piercings, a physical statement that is sure to draw much attention in Pyongyang. The Hall of Fame star could even get to meet North Korea’s great leader, Kim Jong Un who is said to be a huge fan of Basketball, and who knows he may even recognise 51-year old Rodman despite the fact North Korea broadcasts no outside media sources.