Monday, March 4, 2013

Dennis Rodman: "Kim Jong-un just wants a hug."

Okay, well he didn't quite say it like that. But Dennis "The Worm" Rodman has gone on the news shows to explain his trip to North Korea, which was met with no small amount of criticism. And if you were thinking that Rodman was so effusive about his love for his new BFF Kim Jong-un while he was still in North Korea because he feared ending up in the Pyongyang Palazzo (i.e., prison), Mr Rodman dispels that notion quite quickly by basically repeating what he said while he was still in the DPRK.

From the Associated Press, via ESPN:
North Korea's young leader has riled the U.S. with recent nuclear tests, but Kim Jong Un doesn't really want war with the superpower, just a call from President Barack Obama to chat about their shared love of basketball, according to erstwhile diplomat Dennis Rodman, the ex-NBA star just back from an improbable visit to the reclusive communist country.

"He loves basketball. ... I said Obama loves basketball. Let's start there" as a way to warm up relations between U.S. and North Korea, Rodman told ABC's "This Week."

"He asked me to give Obama something to say and do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him," said Rodman, who called the authoritarian leader an "awesome guy" during his trip. The State Department criticized North Korea last week for "wining and dining' Rodman while its own people go hungry.
All right, I see what's going on here: Kim Jong-un thinks all Black people know each other.

The other thing at work here is that Kim Jong-un may have been the fat, lonely kid growing up and now he's leveraging his fortune and fame to hang out with the "popular kids." Invite the popular jock over, show him your dad's movie collection, get buddy-buddy with him, and then you're in good with his friends.

And is it so unreasonable that Obama should call Kim Jong-un? During his first presidential election campaign, Obama made a point of saying he would meet with the leaders of adversarial countries:
Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying we’re going to wipe you off the planet.
Shouldn't North Korea be on that list? Maybe BHO and KJU could also become BFFs. They have a lot in common: both sent to private school, having so many half-siblings because their daddy couldn't keep it in his pants, serious questions about what kind of ideas they were exposed to during their education abroad, etc., etc. Obama used to work at Thirty-One Flavors and Kim Jong-un can eat thirty-one flavors in one sitting.

The kid loves basketball. Imagine the good will that could come from Jong-un and Barack playing a game of H-O-R-S-E in the driveway at Kŭmsusan Palace of the Sun!

On a more serious note (though I am serious about everything I just said), Dennis Rodman did at least acknowledge that he's aware of the stuff for which Kim Jong-un is reportedly responsible (assuming he is not a mere figurehead):
Rodman said he was aware of North Korea's human rights record, which the State Department has characterized as one of the worst in the world, but said he wasn't apologizing for Kim.

"He's a good guy to me," Rodman said, adding, that "as a person to person, he's my friend. I don't condone what he does."
But to Mr Rodman, maybe it's worth it if he can stave off further conflict and perhaps touch the heart of that leader through this friendship. He said that Kim Jong-un had told him, "I don't want to do war. I don't want to do war."

We also learn from the interview with George Stephasnuffleupagus that this is not a one-off. Mr Rodman plans to return to North Korea to "find out more what's really going on." Heck, I would learn how to play basketball (I'm a mere 5' 7-1/2") just to join that entourage.


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