Razzie-winning bridal gown aficionado Dennis Rodman isn’t just one of the most colorful characters of the 1990s — apparently, he’s also America’s last hope for a decent diplomatic relationship with North Korea.
I’ll pause to let that sink in.
The retired basketball player is currently in Pyongyang with a group of Harlem Globetrotters and a documentary film crew. The athletes are planning to spend four to five days in the North Korean capital, putting on a few basketball exhibitions and perhaps even meeting North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un — a noted basketball fan who spent hours as a kid making “meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.” His father, the late Kim Jong-il, was also obsessed with the Bulls in the ’90s. (Totalitarian dictators: They’re just like us!)
As the New York Times notes, this visit comes at a particularly pivotal moment for U.S.-North Korean diplomacy, thanks to the nuclear test North Korea announced it had conducted earlier this month. So basically, Rodman — an ex-Bull, just like Michael — might be the only person who can convince the bad guys from the Red Dawn remake to stand down.
We’ll see whether his mission was a success this spring. The trip is being filled for Vice, a new series coming to HBO in April that will be hosted by Vice media founder Shane Smith. Smith — who has already filmed two documentaries in North Korea — had originally hoped to bring Michael Jordan with him on his latest trip. Unfortunately, His Airness wasn’t interested; Rodman, however, “is up for anything and everything, ” Smith told the Times. Yeah, this pretty much proves that.
Upon landing Tuesday, Rodman and his group were swarmed by North Korean reporters — one of whom asked if Rodman had ever visited their country before. “It is my first time,” he answered diplomatically. “I think it’s most of these guys’ first time here.”
Nicely done, Dennis. Let’s just hope that nobody in North Korea gets a chance to read your Twitter feed: