Two North Korean officials told CNN they expect the former NBA star Dennis Rodman to arrive Tuesday; the cable news network reports it spotted Rodman at Beijing International Airport, and that a member of his entourage mouthed the words “See You Thursday.”
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has test-fired 16 ballistic missiles this year, and is detaining four Americans.
Last time Rodman visited Kim Jong-un, it was considered really unusual. But that was before Celebrity Apprentice’s executioner-in-chief became President of the United States and sent his real-estate-developer son-in-law to Iraq to meet with its prime minister.
Last April, ABC late-night star Jimmy Kimmel was among those wondering about President Donald Trump’s decision, noting on his program, “Jared Kushner is a real estate developer. He’s 36 years old, he has no experience dealing with foreign governments. This is a guy who negotiates rent. Dennis Rodman has more foreign policy experience than Jared Kushner. For real!”
Rodman, of course, has twice been through Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice program, so he’s qualified to represent the country. In fact, last March, Rodman said he would return to North Korea to negotiate on behalf of Trump, if asked.
In early 2015, Rodman got emotional explaining his relationship with North Korea’s leader — and the death threats he’s gotten as a result — in a new film premiering at that year’s Slamdance Film Festival.
Unlike Vice’s startling chronicle of Rodman’s 2013 tour of North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters, Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang zeroed in on the former NBA star as he returned with a team of ex-pros to the DPRK to organize a historic U.S.-North Korea basketball game in honor of his buddy Kim’s birthday. Shortly after returning from that controversial 2014 trip, Rodman checked into rehab and blamed booze for a meltdown on CNN.
Rodman claimed in 2015 he wasn’t aware of some of the atrocities Kim Jong-un, aka The Marshal, committed against his own people. Rodman wept over the haters and critics who questioned his “hoops diplomacy” and closeness to the dictator, saying, “I’m not Martin Luther King. … If someone wanted to shoot me, please, do it today.”