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Dennis Rodman In the Court of Kim Jong Un: Why is the U.S. Government Allowing Visits to N. Korea?
Pajamas Media ^ | 01/07/2014 | Claudia Rosett

Posted on 01/07/2014 6:58:14 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Self-appointed basketball envoy Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea [1], bringing with him a group of fellow former NBA stars to entertain North Korea’s young tyrant Kim Jong Un with an exhibition game on Kim’s birthday, this Wednesday. This is Rodman’s fourth visit to North Korea, where, having sampled some of the luxuries of young Kim’s lifestyle, Rodman has pronounced the totalitarian state to be “not that bad” and decided that Kim is his “friend for life.” It’s all part of what Rodman describes as his personal effort to “help the world.”

The real question about Rodman’s visits to North Korea is not why Rodman chooses to go there, but why the U.S. government continues to allow it. Rodman may believe he’s just going to hang with his buddy Kim, and make the world a better place. But it is quite likely that to Kim and his circle of the North Korean elite (at least those he has not yet ordered to be executed), Rodman’s visits look like a gift of tribute from America. There is precedent for this. Recall the basketball signed by former NBA star Michael Jordan, which former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought with her to Pyongyang in 2000 as a gift to Kim Jong Un’s late father, Kim Jong Il — also a basketball enthusiast. Albright was hoping to get a deal putting an end to North Korea’s missile habit. She got no deal. But Kim Jong Il did get the signed basketball, which North Korea’s government keeps on prominent display in its Hall of Trophies [2].

As for Rodman’s place in young Kim Jong Un’s collection of prizes, there is perhaps some insight to be gleaned from a report last year by North Korea’s state mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency. The occasion was Rodman’s first visit to North Korea, in late February, 2013 — a busy month for Kim, whose regime about two weeks earlier had conducted North Korea’s third nuclear test. Rodman arrived in Pyongyang with three Harlem Globetrotters. Mixing it up with North Korean basketball players, as the New York Daily News recounts,he treated Kim to an exhibition game [3] — later praising Kim as an “awesome guy” and Kim’s tyrannical father and grandfather as “great leaders.”

As KCNA described [4] the game, the stadium was packed not only with sports fans, but with “foreign diplomatic envoys, representatives of international bodies, military attaches and other foreign guests here with their families.” With a cast like that — note the specificity, that military attaches were among the honored guests — it wasn’t just the basketball game that was on display to these dignitaries. It was Kim himself, holding court, with the entertainment provided by the visiting Americans. As KCNA told it, both the players and the audience broke into “thunderous applause” — not over the game itself, but because they were “greatly excited to see the game together with Kim Jong Un.” Rodman’s role in this performance included going to “bow to Kim Jong Un” who then in lordly fashion let Rodman sit beside him.

You get the idea. For North Korea, the game here is not just basketball. It’s a game of trophies — American trophies. Kim conducts a nuclear test, presides over a prison state and executes anyone he deems disloyal (including his own uncle) — and then unwinds by inviting an American sports star (however eccentric) to come bow to him, perform for Pyongyang and the world headlines, and sample the pleasures of Kim’s lifestyle. Such are the luxuries of totalitarian rule.

If there a fitting retort to this display? As it happens, luxuries of various kinds are on the list of goods that United Nations Security Council sanctions [5] forbid exporting to North Korea. The UN lists a number of specific items that all member states are supposed to withhold, including gems, jewelry with pearls, yachts, luxury automobiles and racing cars. But individual member states are free to expand on that list of designated luxuries, adding whatever fancy items — coveted by the Kim regime — they see fit. That’s why the Swiss government refused to sell ski lift equipment to North Korea.

The U.S. government already sanctions the sale of luxury goods [6], among other things, to North Korea. Surely the provision of basketball exhibition games is a luxury, apparently rewarded by Pyongyang with lavish hospitality, if not with cash on the barrel. To forbid the provision of such luxuries to North Korea need not entail singling out any individual — no one need bother with Dennis Rodman in particular. But is there by now a case to be made that for any American to provide Kim Jong Un with performances he covets — say, a headline-grabbing American all-star-populated basketball game for his birthday — is at least as pernicious as selling him ski lifts, and jewelry and yachts? Enforcing sanctions on most luxury goods is not easy. It appears that Kim has managed despite sanctions to procure ski equipment and fancy boats. But with exhibition sports games, it’s hard for the players to hide. There just might be a better chance of depriving Kim of his trophies. It would certainly be a better way of sending him birthday greetings from America.


URLs in this post:

[1] back in North Korea: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24370617/dennis-rodman-nba-all-stars-arrive-in-north-korea

[2] Hall of Trophies: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/sports/basketball/dennis-rodman-arrives-in-north-korea-for-tour.html?_r=0

[3] treated Kim to an exhibition game: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/dennis-rodman-kim-jong-awesome-guy-article-1.1277017

[4] KCNA described: http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2013/201302/news28/20130228-23ee.html

[5] Security Council sanctions: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2094(2013)

[6] sanctions the sale of luxury goods: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg841.aspx


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: dennisrodman; kimjongun; northkorea

1 posted on 01/07/2014 6:58:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I have no problem with allowing them to visit North Korea. They just shouldn’t be allowed to come back.


2 posted on 01/07/2014 7:00:21 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind
Are We, or are We not
In a state of War with North Korea?

Does not his actions constitute
Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy?

Dennis has some ‘splaining do do...

3 posted on 01/07/2014 7:02:22 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m guessing the WH figures that Rodman and little Kim are swapping spit and he heartly approves. If Rodman’s head arrives in a box at the WH we’ll know his team won the exhibition game....: )


4 posted on 01/07/2014 7:02:26 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: SeekAndFind
“Dennis Rodman In the Court of Kim Jong Un: Why is the U.S. Government Allowing Visits to N. Korea?”

Because North Korea and Kim Jong Un are our enemies and they get what they deserve. Although I will admit this is boarder line cruel and unusual punishment.

5 posted on 01/07/2014 7:02:47 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: SeekAndFind

Dennis Rodman,is looking for attention..He and his friends had better watch out because when the little fat bitch from the North get angry Dennis Rodman might be thrown to the dogs


6 posted on 01/07/2014 7:04:06 AM PST by PLD
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To: SeekAndFind
Rodman is a basket-case

he was on CNN this morning and he sounds like a nut-job.

The CNN host asked him if he would have an opportunity to ask the north Korean leader about an American who is being held in prison there with NO CHARGES, and Rodman just starting screaming “what did he do? what did he do?” like a lunatic.

The host even tried to tell him that that is the question since no charge have been filed no one knows “what did he do” and that set him off into another incoherent tirade, and when the host tried to interject (because he was making NO SENSE AT ALL) he jumped in with the “are you gonna let me finish? are you gonna let me finish?” even though he was incoherent.

7 posted on 01/07/2014 7:05:29 AM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Two points:

First, Rodman sees what they want him to see. There was a documentary about a year ago about a doctor (from India, I think) who went to North Korea to perform cataract surgeries on thousands of citizens. They had a hidden camera that showed the deplorable conditions of their hospitals. The thing that really bothered me was that, once they could see again, they jumped up and down singing the praises of “Our Glorious Leader” while the doctor stood there unpaid and unthanked.

Second, why would I give a sh#$ what Rodman thinks?


8 posted on 01/07/2014 7:06:21 AM PST by econjack (I'm not bossy...I just know what you should be doing.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What if l’il kim doesn’t like how the game turns out?


9 posted on 01/07/2014 7:20:39 AM PST by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s the “famous black guy” waiver.


10 posted on 01/07/2014 7:28:26 AM PST by Right Wing Assault
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To: Vigilanteman

Maybe they’ll keep him.


11 posted on 01/07/2014 7:45:08 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Maybe Kim will feed him alive to the dogs like he did to his uncle....wait that would be inhumane to the dogs


12 posted on 01/07/2014 7:51:52 AM PST by BubbaJunebug
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To: BubbaJunebug
I find it hard to believe they fed anyone to 120 hungry dogs. 120 dogs wouldn't last past Christmas in NK.
13 posted on 01/07/2014 7:53:50 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Reports executed North Korean leader's uncle was thrown to a pack of dogs stemmed from satirical Chinese blog
14 posted on 01/07/2014 8:01:12 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: SeekAndFind
Why is the U.S. Government Allowing Visits to N. Korea?

Because to deny Rodman permission would trigger the dreaded "R" word?

15 posted on 01/07/2014 8:09:08 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: JimRed

Rodman is a joke let him go as much as he wants to or allowed


16 posted on 01/07/2014 8:16:34 AM PST by scooby321
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To: Right Wing Assault
Rodman’s one gross individual, all scabby lookin.

He supposedly had a fling with Carmen Electra and Madonna.

They're ruint woman. I wouldn't touch’em with a total body prophylactic after sleepin with that freak.

Yuck!

17 posted on 01/07/2014 8:45:04 AM PST by servantboy777
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To: SeekAndFind

I think we should send more people to North Korea.

Let’s start with the Kartrashians.


18 posted on 01/07/2014 8:46:04 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

Only if they take Kanye West along, LOL.


19 posted on 01/07/2014 8:47:42 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why send Rodman there?

Perhaps in the hope they’ll kill him?


20 posted on 01/07/2014 8:49:10 AM PST by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: Vigilanteman

We’re still at war with north korea ,only we’ve agreed to a cease fire for the last 60-years.


21 posted on 01/07/2014 8:55:51 AM PST by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
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