It's true, I'm in North Korea.Looking forward to sitting down with Kim Jung Un.I love the people of North Korea. #WORMinNorthKorea— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) February 26, 2013
Yes, that headline and that tweet are true. Dennis Rodman is in North Korea as part of a "basketball diplomacy" initiative that will be shown as part of a news report for North Korean television and for a special on HBO. Rodman just seems like an odd choice to represent the United States in North Korea, well known for its strict cultural and dress code restrictions. Rodman is not exactly conservative in those matters.
And North Koreans, getting a look at him for the first time, are getting a bit of a culture shock. One even said "He looks like a monster" when shown a photo from his playing days.
Hard to disagree.
Still Rodman is an ambassador of the United States and arrives in the embattled country at a critical time in history. It was only a few weeks ago that the international powers were put on high alert with reports that North Korea was doing underground nuclear arms testing. A little unity in sports could ease tensions.
They love basketball here. Honored to represent The United States of America. #WORMinNorthKorea— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) February 26, 2013
I'm not a politician. Kim Jung Un & North Korean people are basketball fans. I love everyone. Period. End of story. #WORMinNorthKorea— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) February 26, 2013
It should also help that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is apparently a fan of the 1990s Bulls. Having Rodman -- who is joined by three members of the Harlem Globetrotters -- to teach some basketball and reach out to the people will not be a bad thing. Rodman is still one of the most recognizable names in the NBA and from one of the NBA's best teams.
Rodman said he is going to be on his best behavior and seems to be taking his role as diplomat pretty seriously. Still, it just seems odd.
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