Dennis Rodman Leaves North Korea, But Will He Return?
Dennis Rodman has left North Korea, but he is already planning his next “basketball diplomacy” trip with the hermit nation. The former NBA star spent four days in the capital city of Pyongyang to help train North Korean basketball players for an exhibition match with 12 NBA veteran players. The bizarre appearance by Rodman came less than a week after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had his uncle, Jang Song Taek, executed for alleged treason.
However, Rodman has tried to downplay the political implications of his visit by telling the Associated Press he’s just there to “do a basketball game and have some fun.” He will make his fourth visit to Pyongyang next week along with the other NBA players for the basketball game scheduled on Jan. 8.
It also appears that Rodman and Un did not have a meeting this time. The pair previously dined during Rodman’s last visit to Pyongyang and he called the dictator a “friend for life.” He said he would see Un when he returned in a week and called him a “very good guy.” His comments about Un and trips to North Korea are upsetting to Americans because they come during a period when the dictator has threatened missile strikes on the U.S.
This is the second “friendship game” that Rodman has organized between North Korea and the US, which was particularly exciting for Un because he is reportedly a fan of pro basketball. The inaugural friendship game took place last February and featured several members of the Harlem Globetrotters.