The mounting tensions in North Korea have produced relatively few optimists of late, but rest assured that Dennis Rodman can be counted among them.
In an interview with Gossip Extra, the star rebounder made clear his plans to return to North Korea in August, so that he and "supreme leader" Kim Jong Un can you know, "just hang and have some fun."
It's an all-but-sure thing that any unofficial sojourns to North Korea would be precluded by say, nuclear conflict, but at the moment it appears that, in the mind of the Worm, international sanctions and threats of war stand aside for "basketball diplomacy." Although, seeing how he reportedly leaked confirmation that Kim Jong Un has a daughter, a major state secret in North Korea, Rodman still has a bit to learn about being diplomatic.
Gawker noted that relations between North Korea and pretty much every nation with interests in the North Pacific have soured considerably since Rodman last met Kim Jong Un in February. However, the ex-Chicago Bulls defensive tough guy insisted that the dictator of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is simply misunderstood.
"He just wants to be loved. He just wants to sit down and talk. That’s all," Rodman said of Kim Jong Un.
Bizarre as it may seem to interpret Pyongyang's rhetoric as a cry for help, Rodman's opinion isn't entirely out of line with some assessments of Kim Jong Un's motives. Earlier this month, top-level defectors to South Korea told the Guardian that the young leader's sabre-rattling is merely an act of self preservation, and some analysts have suggested that there are "darker" psychological forces behind his erratic behavior.
Rodman, of course, knows a few things about pulling stunts to get attention. It could be that his role as Vice-sponsored diplomat to North Korea is just the latest flourish in Rodman's flamboyant trajectory. But unlike his various hair-dye jobs, paparazzi-fodder marriages and bouts of cross-dressing, this turn of character smacks of something serious.
Scarily enough, some people think it actually does Rodman credit.