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Dennis Rodman Arrives in North Korea for ‘Basketball Diplomacy’

Rodman Korea

Dennis Rodman has arrived in North Korea.

Former NBA Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman has just arrived in North Korea with cameras and members of the Harlem Globetrotters in tow. His reason for being in such a restricted country? He’s there for a “basketball diplomacy” mission.

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Rodman is an interesting choice for this trip, since his past antics wouldn’t make him anyone’s first choice for a diplomacy trip.

Rodman and some of the Harlem Globetrotters landed safely in Pyongyang Tuesday morning. Voice of America noted Rodman’s comments about what he plans to do during the trip:

It’s my first time [to visit North Korea]. I think it’s most of these guys’ first time. So hopefully everything will be okay, and I hope the kids have a good time for the game.

The trip, which has been organized by the VICE media group, will have Rodman and his fellow basketball players engaging in a series of basketball camps with North Korean children for a week. The media agency said that this mission is aimed at encouraging “openness and better relations with the outside world.”

Dennis Rodman Korea

VICE went on to say that a “top-level scrimmage” event will be held. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is also rumored to be a fan of Dennis Rodman and an attendee of the event.

However, this scrimmage hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.

VICE has had some difficulty in getting into North Korea, as evidenced by their video series on how hard it was for them to gain entry:

VICE will be filming the entire trip in North Korea and is planning to air the finished footage on HBO sometime around early April. Shane Smith, the founder of VICE, spoke to the Associated Press about this odd trip and its unique visitors:

Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes. But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing.

It’s not known if this North Korean excursion has the support of the U.S. government, which has been against high-profile visits to North Korea during these current times of strained relations. North Korea recently tested a nuclear bomb, which has worried the U.S. and other countries. Korea expert at Leeds University Aidan Foster-Carter spoke to Voice of America and told them that this trip won’t hurt the diplomatic efforts between the new countries:

We’re in a bad place with North Korea and the nuclear test and so on. If someone tries something different, you know, outside the box, what harm can it do?

Rodman has been Tweeting since he touched down in Pyongyang:

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