The group Rodman is travelling with got invited to N. Korea because, apparently, the U.S. and N. Korea have a shared a love for basketball.
“We got invited and we just came over to have some fun,” Rodman said. “Hopefully, everything will be O.K. and the kids will have a good time with the games.”
From the New York Times:
Dennis Rodman may not come across as the most natural choice for a sports star turned American diplomat, but North Korea apparently begs to differ. Rodman has traveled to Pyongyang along with three Harlem Globetrotters and a documentary film crew for some basketball exhibitions and, the film company hopes, an audience with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is said to be a devoted basketball fan.
Kim Jong-il was a huge fan of the Chicago Bulls 1990s squad, and the current leader enjoys the sport as well.
Given the love that North Korea’s leader showed toward American basketball, Vice media founder Shane Smith conjured up the idea of taking some Bulls players and Harlem Globetrotters to the country for an installment of his HBO series “Vice”. He acknowledges that it’s a strange idea, but he hopes to get a bit of good press for his new show.
Rodman quickly took to Twitter to distance himself from any political implications as it relates to his trip.
“I’m not a politician. Kim Jung Un & North Korean people are basketball fans. I love everyone. Period. End of story.”