Dennis Rodman is in a unique situation: He’s friends with both North Korean Communist Dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.
Serving as a good-will ambassador of sorts, the NBA Hall of Famer was shown on Tuesday presenting North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il Guk with a copy of the President’s famous book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”
Prior to boarding a plane bound for Pyongyang as he embarked on a four-day visit to the reclusive country, Rodman told reporters that he was hoping to do “something that’s pretty positive” at a time when tensions between Washington and North Korea are probably at their worst.
Asked if he planned to talk to North Korean officials about the four Americans who are currently being detained there, Rodman made clear that his priority was completely different, stating, “Well that’s not my purpose right now… My purpose is to go over there and try to see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea.”
Rodman, who has traveled to North Korea several times and calls the murderous Communist dictator as his “friend for life”, has often said that his relationship with Kim is not about politics — it’s really just about basketball.
US national security spokesman Michael Anton told CNN that Rodman is not acting as a representative of the US government or President Donald Trump, adding that he doesn’t think the President has even spoken to Rodman since he took office.
Rodman arrived in Pyongyang the same day news broke that Otto Warmbier, an American who spent more than 17 months detained in North Korea, was released. Anton made clear that there is no connection between Rodman’s visit and Warmbier’s release.
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