Dennis Rodman, the former Chicago Bulls player, is currently in the midst of his fourth trip to North Korea as part of his “basketball diplomacy” project. This time, he brought a number of former NBA players to participate in a game in the country.
My main question is:
Does this project have any positive effects on a possible reformation of North Korea? If not, should Rodman and company even be there?
Thus far, we have no evidence to show that this project is having any positive effects. Diplomacy can be a powerful tool and I believe it can be used to reform North Korea, but this particular program does not appear to be doing anything constructive. If anything, it’s feeding Kim Jong-un’s ego that he personally gets to meet and witness all of these former pro players.
In an interview conducted by Chris Cuomo, Rodman seems delusional. He avoids any question having to do with North Korea’s atrocities or human rights violations and defends Kim Jong-un.
It seems to be that he enjoys the attention he receives from these trips. He is probably treated exceptionally well in North Korea as well by Jong-un and the people that are allowed to watch them play.
Some good questions about Rodman’s trip have been raised by The Christian Science Monitor. The one that interests me most is this: Is it ethical to work with North Korea on their terms? With the little evidence and proof that we have that something positive is being done, I'd have to say no.
For a look at Rodman's recent awkward CNN interview, please head over to SB Nation.