The Washington Post

Dennis ‘The Worm’ Rodman back to see his pal in North Korea

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman walks with North Korea's sports ministry official, Son Kwang Ho, at the international airport in Pyongyang, North Korea on Thursday, Dec. 19. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon) Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman walks with North Korea’s vice sports minister, Son Kwang Ho, at the international airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, after his arrival Thursday. (Kim Kwang Hyon/AP)

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea to arrange a Jan. 8 basketball match in celebration of the birthday of the guy he calls his “friend for life,” the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un.

Rodman’s arrival Thursday to make arrangements to bring over 12 former NBA players and to  train the North Korean team for the match comes less than a week after Kim had his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, executed.

“I can’t control what they do with their government,” Rodman told the Associated Press, “I can’t control what they say or how they do things here. I’m just trying to come up here a sports figure and try to . . . open the door for a lot of people in the country.” He described his visits as “basketball diplomacy.”

The United States has been pressing the lunatic North Koreans to release Kenneth Bae, an American citizen who was arrested in November 2012 on charges of plotting to overthrow the brutal dictatorship. He was sentenced in May to 15 years hard labor.

But Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said Wednesday that Washington had not talked to Rodman about his trip and was not “involved with Mr. Rodman’s visit to North Korea.”

“He is not there representing the United States government,” she said.

Wow! Wouldn’t that be something if  “The Worm” — Rodman’s nickname in playing days — were a government envoy?





Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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