DENNIS RODMAN’S TRIPS TO NORTH KOREA: THE JOKER MEETS DARTH VADER OR MAYBE A YOUNG DENG XIAOPING?
Filed under: DENNIS RODMAN’S TRIPS, RODMAN IN NORTH KOREA: THE JOKER MEETS DARTH VADER OR MAYBE A YOUNG DENG XIAOPING?, Uncategorized
Deng Xiaoping or another Stalinist?
We all know why Dennis Rodman first went to North Korea. The media scavenger was paid to accompany the Harlem Globe Trotters at an exhibition game with a North Korean team. Shane Smith of Vice Media organized the event and Rodman’s trip. Kim Jong Un is a fan of the Chicago Bulls and Rodman played with Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen during the Bull’s greatest seasons in 95 and 96. That was a long time ago and Kim who is 28 would have been about 15 or 16 at the time but old enough to enjoy the games.
Vice Media sent a camera team along hoping to get footage, previously unseen, of the closed state and score a public relations coup as few outsiders are let in to North Korea and fewer still with camera crews. The New York Philharmonic was allowed to film vistas of the country but was supervised by minders as was Vice Media when they went. However Vice Media has made documentaries that were unflattering to North Korea so Smith must have been on the State’s persona non grata list until he came up with the basketball angle which caused Kim to allow the group with his camera crew back in. However Smith did not personally accompany the group and the coverage appears to be limited to the ball game with some shots of Rodman greeting Kim, dining and together again at the game.
Rodman doesn’t speak Korean and Kim doesn’t speak English. They communicated through an interpreter but apparently they both speak basketball because footage shows them seated side by side enjoying the game. Why Kim would lay out the red carpet for a controversial ex basketball player with dyed hair, multiple tattoos, nose and lip rings, who’s been known to cross dress, probably for publicity, and reportedly a million dollars in debt after earning $27 million as a ball player is any one’s guess. Perhaps Kim wanted to embarrass the United States by welcoming such an offbeat character while avoiding legitimate diplomatic relations or contacts.
However the first trip was subsidized by Vice Media so it doesn’t look like it was a state invitation. The second trip was subsidized by Paddy Power a consortium of Irish bookmakers. So in September 2013 Rodman again visited North Korea to again meet up with Kim.
Up to now the State has projected Kim as a strongman on a dappled gray horse ready and willing to confront the West and our Asian Allies militarily and on a nuclear basis with statements like the response to “provocations (joint military exercises) will not be limited to local a war but develop into an all out nuclear war.”
Now we see him as a basketball loving BFF of Dennis Rodman? The film crews that went with Rodman and the Globe Trotters saw Kim as a socially awkward individual reluctant to make eye contact. Probably no low level North Korean would ever dare to make eye contact with Kim any way and it would be the same with low level Americans. Kim was probably doing them a favor.
Are we seeing these Rodman episodes as an attempt by Kim to assert himself in a manner contrary to what his military handlers would like to portray? After all there are a great many North Koreans, particularly in the military that enjoy great comfort from the status quo established by Kim’s father and grandfather. Will they tolerate any threat to that comfort? Does this mean Kim is starting to emerge as a personality in his own right and not destined to project the military dictator persona demanded by the State that was established by his grandfather and father in a totally different world.
Communism now has been shown to be a failed economic system which has been abandoned by North Korea’s former protectors , China and the old Soviet Union(now Russia) who now are trading partners with the non communist world.
North Korean is seen as an embarrassing and unnecessary fossil of the Cold War. The old rational of Communist dictatorships for the benefit of the people is economically and morally bankrupt. Kim’s government is seen as merely a dictatorship for the benefit of the few at the expense of the people. Maybe his rationality is beginning to see the irrationality of his country’s economic system and its place in the World as Deng Xiaoping did years ago for China and Mikhail Gorbachev also did for Russia in the late 1980’s. North Korea’s estimated GDP is around $1800.00. South Korea’s GDP is $38,000.00 to $39000.00
Rodman returned to Beijing with nothing much to say other than Kim is a good guy and Kenneth Bae, the imprisoned minister is Obama’s problem. When he arrives in New York he says he has further announcements. He did show pictures that he actually met with Kim. This appears to be another confounding act by the North Koreans who seem to run hot and cold depending on whether the U.S. and South Korea are conducting military exercises etc.
Deng Xiaoping or another Stalinist? To soon to tell.
POST SCRIPT: RODMAN TO ALLEGEDLY COACH N. KOREAN OLYMPIC TEAM? STRANGE DAYS! HIS RECENT TRIP TO N.KOREA WAS SPONSORED BY PADDY POWER A CONSORTIUM OF IRISH BOOK MAKERS. CONFLICTS ALL OVER THE PLACE. MAYBE RODMAN SHOULD CHANGE HIS CITIZENSHIP.
VIDEO OF ANNOUNCEMENT HERE.
RODMAN CASHING IN ON KIM JONG UN IN TASTELESS COMMERCIAL