Dennis Rodman in North Korea: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

North Korea fired an underground nuclear test a couple weeks ago and has threatened the United States and South Korea with “miserable destruction” if they moved forward with joint military exercises in March, so of course this is the perfect time for noted diplomat Dennis Rodman to arrive on the scene.

Somewhere, Phil Jackson is smiling at Rodman’s involvement in world issues. Or building a fallout shelter.

Rodman landed in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Tuesday with three Harlem Globetrotters and a documentary film crew with the expectation of playing exhibition games and the hope of meeting leader Kim Jong-un, said to be a basketball fan. Because if there’s one thing Rodman is good at, it’s stabilizing situations.

“There ain’t no timing of it,” the Hall of Fame power forward said in a video on the Web site of the British daily The Guardian. “We got invited and we’ll just come over and have some fun and hopefully give you some fun.”

The New York Times noted that Vice media founder Shane Smith, who has made two previous trips to North Korea to film documentaries, said a ball signed by Michael Jordan, given to former leader Kim Jong-il by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000, is prominently displayed at the national museum. Former brutal dictator Kim Jong-il, the father of current brutal dictator Kim Jong-un, was portrayed as obsessed with the Bulls of the 1990s.

“It’s weird because when you go there, it’s all very anti-American,” Smith told the Times. “North Korean kids are fed anti-American propaganda from pretty much the day they are born. But it’s OK to like American basketball,” adding: “It is a bizarre place. And this is a bizarre idea.”

It was not immediately clear whether he meant the trip or any involvement with Rodman.

The American contingent expects to spend four or five days in the country, the paper reports, including visits to a children’s sports camp and games against North Korean players. The visiting team is Rodman, three Globetrotters and a Vice correspondent.


  1. Rodman-do your thing bro-big-ups!

  2. KingKong says:

    Kim Jung-Un will play, starting PG for North Korea.LoL

  3. Dave says:

    Go Dennis! Good to see he doesn’t listen to the propaganda and goes to see for himself. North Korea is just protecting itself against a greedy superpower

    • Jamie says:

      @Dave, this must be one of those lazy, boneheaded ‘America is the problem with everything’ rants. Let me guess: you’ve never been to North Korea, nor bothered to google the accounts of escaped North Koreans, nor wondered why North Koreans generally are not allowed to travel. …Nevertheless, I agree this is a great idea. The more people who meet friendly foreigners with peaceful intentions (though a few exNBA players might have a problem with that description of Rodman), the better off we are. I’ve seen Rodman abroad (in the Running of the Bulls, Pamplona) and people seem to easily relate to a guy who just wants to be himself and have fun.

  4. TheStarMiddleschooler says: