President Obama & the United States government aren’t the only ones who have been stressed out by pressures in North Korea–apparently Dennis Rodman has been feeling it too. Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince, said Rodman’s drinking escalated out of control in North Korea, “to a level that none of us had seen before.”
CNN is reporting that Rodman is now in a “28 or 30 day program” in New Jersey, per Prince.
Rodman, who maintains a friendly relationship with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, headed to North Korea with a few other former NBA players to play some b-ball against players from the regime. Rodman called this a “birthday present” for his friend Kim and even sang “Happy birthday” to Kim inside of a packed sports stadium. Kim Jong Un is known to be a huge fan of basketball.
Upon leaving North Korea, Rodman was bombarded by media at the Beijing airport, where he broke into tears while answering questions.
“I’m not the president,” he said. “I’m not an ambassador. I’m Dennis Rodman.”
Rodman also apologized for what was happening in North Korea, saying “I’m sorry for what’s going on in North Korea, the certain situations.” He did not, however, apologize for his visit or his friendship with Kim.
Rodman’s relationship with the North Korean leader has been widely criticized. Some say that Rodman’s visits offer diplomacy through basketball. They argue that his visits may help develop more positive perceptions about the Western world amongst citizens in North Korea. Their current negative views come from state controlled media, which demonizes the Western world. Others find Rodman’s visits to be a media circus that distracts from the regime’s brutality. Senator John McCain has even spoken out against the former NBA star, saying “I think he’s an idiot.”
Kim Jong Un’s unlikely friendship with Dennis Rodman has done little to quell the conflict between the U.S. & North Korea. North Korea has continued to pursue a nuclear program, and they’ve yet to release American citizen Kenneth Bae, who was imprisoned in 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
During a CNN interview, Rodman made comments that perhaps Kenneth Bae had done something to deserve the sentence he was given. After Bae’s family fired back, Rodman recanted his statement; he blamed it on the alcohol and said he had been drinking.
Despite all of the controversy, Darren Prince insists that Rodman is proud to be an American citizen.
What do you think of Dennis Rodman & Kim Jong Un’s friendship?
April Dawn (@scarlettsinatra)