Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for his fourth visit, this time to participate in an exhibition game between a North Korean team and a group of ex-NBA players for the entertainment of dictator Kim Jong-un. As usual, he told reporters that he’s not going to spend his time with Kim discussing the country’s many human-rights violations. “This game is for [Kim’s] birthday,” said an amped-up, mumbling Rodman before boarding a flight in Beijing. “It’s for his birthday.” You don’t bring up prison camps and political purges on a guy’s birthday — especially when that guy is your very good pal Kim Jong-un.
“I’m hoping that if this opens the doors, that we can actually talk about certain things, we can do certain things. But I’m not gonna sit there and go over and say, ‘Hey, guy, you’re doing the wrong that.’ That’s not the right thing to do,” Rodman explained. “He’s my friend first. He’s my friend. I don’t give a shit. I tell the world: he’s my fucking friend, I love him.”
When Rodman was again reminded that, as the only American with access to Kim, he might be in a unique position to do some good for the people of North Korea, he responded, “I’m not a president. I’m just a guy that wants to go over and just have a good time.” And that is why Rodman is invited to North Korea and other people aren’t.