The US State Department seems embarrassed by Dennis Rodman’s frequent trips to North Korea, says Dennis Halpin of John Hopkins SAIS, who also criticized the former NBA star for playing diplomat while in the DPRK lounging with Kim Jong-un at his ‘pleasure island’ surrounded by attractive women. His antics, he said ‘were nothing more than ding dong diplomacy’.
Halpin recalled Rodman’s interview with The Sun after his seven-day trip to North Korea in September where he stayed with the young leader at his ‘pleasure island’. “Rodman depicted a world worthy of Marie Antoinette with constant cocktails, jet skis, horseback riding and luxury yachts,” he said, adding that Rodman and Kim were reportedly accompanied by troupes of young attractive women. “It is unlikely that poor old Uncle Jang, no matter to what degree he was guilty of boozing and womanizing, ever spent a week like the one which Dennis Rodman described.”
Rodman’s attempt to involve himself with US-DPRK concerns, like his request for Kim Jong-un to ‘do him a solid‘ and release US citizen Kenneth Bae is a tired act and “The State Department seems embarrassed by his antics” said Halpin.
“Rodman seems to think his ‘basketball diplomacy’ is following in the footsteps of the ‘ping pong diplomacy’ that broke the ice in Sino-American relations over four decades ago. But such is clearly not the case.” His adventures, he said, “appear, in fact, to be nothing more than ding dong diplomacy.”
Rodman was in Pyongyang this past week training basketball players who will take part in an exhibition match he has organized for Kim’s birthday on January 8. He told the Associate Press that he didn’t see Kim this time around, but he’ll be returning next month to celebrate with him.
“I came over here to meet the basketball team, to prepare a great game for the leader for his birthday. And people need to understand that it’s not important for me to meet him every time I come over because he has another greater job to do for his country, and I respect that, but this trip was basically to come over to train the team, so we can have a great, great, game,” he said.