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Dennis Rodman’s Positive Impact

On February 26, 2013, NBA hall of fame player, Dennis Rodman, made his first trip to the secluded, oppressive country of North Korea. And so began a year-long relationship with Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un. While most people dislike Rodman for making friends with such an oppressive dictator, I am all for it.

Relations between the US and North Korea have been tense ever since the peninsula split along the 38th parallel. Before Rodman’s relationship with Un, who admired Rodman as a teenager, North Korea seemed totally out of reach. No prior American had ever established a solid relationship with any North Korean leader prior.

As of late, North Korea has become even more volatile with its constant threats of nuclear war.  This makes it imperative that we create some sort of bridge to solve this problem.

Just a month ago, Rodman set up a pickup basketball game in Pyongyang and brought along other former NBA players.  We have seen sports politics work before, from ping-pong diplomacy in China to tennis diplomacy in the Middle East.  Rodman may not be the model American citizen, but at least he is making progress.

Written by Tristan Rhee’17


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