dennis rodman, basketball diplomat to North Korea?

Dennis Rodman: ‘Diplomat’ To North Korea?

Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang today for what Daily NK‘s Oh Yun Ju called, “a bizarre publicity stunt” for a new TV program. NPRreported:

“Rodman is joining three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team for a Vice Media production to air on HBO in early April, Vice founder Shane Smith told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview before the group’s departure from Beijing.”

Smith has previously published an online travel guide to North Korea.

In that guide, Smith confessed that his team got visas to enter the isolated country by acting drunk and singing nationalist songs at a restaurant they were brought to by the North Korean consulate, who met them at the airport when they first landed in the country. An L.A. Times reporter had tipped them to act like drunken tourists if they wanted to be accepted.

“We got drunk and jumped up onstage and sang songs with the girls,” Smith wrote. “The next day we got our visas. A lot of people we had gone with didn’t get theirs.”

In the wake of the recent North Korean missile tests, Smith put on a more serious face, stating that Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters were engaged in “basketball diplomacy.” Leader Kim Jong Un is allegedly a fan, although the AP report added that most North Koreans really only know Michael Jordan’s name.

In the tightly regimented nation, where it was recently reported by Tim Stanley at The Telegraph that there are only 28 “sanctioned” hairstyles, the American Hall of Famer’s wacky look will really stand out. Rodman’s abundant tattoos, multiple piercings, and garishly colored hairstyles should draw the eyes of the average citizen of North Korea, even if they have no idea who he really is.

There’s no word yet on how toasted Dennis Rodman may or may not have gotten to be allowed to enter North Korea.

[Photo courtesy Tuomas Venhola and the Wikipedia Commons]