If given his druthers, Dennis Rodman will be the American peacekeeper who helps ease tensions between the United States and North Korea. The retired basketball great and global citizen wants President Donald Trump to OK Rodman’s transition into a peace envoy. While it is commonly understood that in business, education and politics, people strategize over golf, this newer iteration of “basketball diplomacy” confounds believers in the old guard of diplomacy.

North Korea’s recent intercontinental missile test after the United States named the nation a state sponsor of terrorism contributes to unease between the countries.

As USA Today reported, Rodman sought the peace envoy designation after the State Department prohibited American passport holders from visiting the controversial Asian nation. Having visited Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, five times already, Rodman wanted to return. He said American officials told him, “It’s not a good time right now.”

The ban for American passport holders began after American student Otto Warmbier was jailed in North Korea for theft. The young man died shortly after returning to the United States with major brain damage. The haze surrounding Warmbier’s life and untimely death is one motivator for domestic reticence toward North Korea.

However, Rodman occupies a curious and distinct position: He and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un are friends. Rodman and Trump are likely cordial, given Rodman’s appearance on the then reality TV performer’s Celebrity Apprentice show.

“I’ve been trying to tell Donald since day one: ‘Come talk to me, man … I’ll tell you what the Marshal wants more than anything … It’s not even that much,'” Rodman said. “If I can go back over there … you’ll see me talking to him, and sitting down and having dinner, a glass of wine, laughing and doing my thing.” Rodman emphasized similarities between the two world leaders.

“They love control,” Rodman told media in Beijing recently. “Ain’t nobody got no finger on the button.”

 

 

 

 

 

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