Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea with VICE magazine


Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists upon arrival at Pyongyang Airport, North Korea on Feb. 26, 2013. (Kim Kwang Hyon/AP)

Former NBA player and basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman is in North Korea. Yes, you read that correctly. The news came from Rodman himself, via Twitter.

Rodman, 51, says he has entered one of the most secretive countries in the world for a collaboration with VICE and three members of the Harlem Globetrotters to make a documentary.

So how, exactly did the former bad boy of the Chicago Bulls make it in? “Young leader Kim Jong Un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Rodman won three championships with the club,” reports The Associated Press.

Rodman and crew intend to meet with officials in North Korea and participate in a little “basketball diplomacy” as they’re calling it, something which could be worth a shot, given how well traditional attempts at diplomacy and nuclear deterrence with the country are working these days.

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Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea with VICE magazine

  1. I’m quite fascinated by North Korea, and even toyed with the idea of taking a trip there, back when I lived in Asia. But I didn’t because I don’t see the point in going on a heavily stage-managed propaganda tour where my every move was being controlled and monitored by government officials. I also didn’t want my likeness being used for the regime’s purposes, or to have my money aid the criminals that run the country in any way.

    Many westerners have a strange blind spot when it comes to North Korea. The same is true of many South Koreans. Kim Jong-Il was (very incorrectly) perceived as somewhat of a comic character. A chubby clown in ugly suits, with ridiculous hair, and I think that caused some people to overlook, or at least not dwell on how truly vile he was. Just like his father before him. And although it’s still too early to make judgments about Kim Jong Un, what he’s shown so far has not been promising.

    I’m hard pressed to think of a more evil government anywhere on earth, and I don’t use that word lightly. I would encourage everyone to read “Escape from Camp 14”, although there are other accounts which detail the horrors inflicted on the North Korean people by the regime in Pyongyang.

    While Rodman is correct in that he’s not a politician, everyone, celebrities included, should be more aware of what’s really going on in North Korea, and think twice before allowing themselves to be used to lend credibility or prestige to the murdering, oligarchic thugs who have destroyed the country, continue to brutalize the population, and destabilize the peninsula.

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