March 21, 2023

The despot and The Worm: Remembering Dennis Rodman’s strange North Korea odyssey

Ten years on, the eccentric NBA star’s friendship with Kim Jong Un stands as one of stranger chapters in DPRK history

Before Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to hold a summit with North Korea, America’s relationship with the Kim regime was practically nonexistent. The so-called Leap Day agreement of 2012 fell apart in dramatic fashion, and the Obama administration all but gave up on diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Into this extreme hostility between the two countries entered one of the most unlikely of intermediaries — former basketball player Dennis Rodman.