This isn’t The Onion. I’m not using satire to make a point about the state of foreign relations with North Korea, nor am I taking a jab at NBA legend Dennis Rodman for requesting to mediate between Kim Jong un and Donald Trump. I’m being absolutely serious.
Most in the media are mocking the request. Since September 1, travel to North Korea has been barred following the death of Otto Warmbier, a student who had been imprisoned in North Korea for theft and returned in a state indicative of trauma while incarcerated.
I think it’s a plausible idea. It’s not that I trust Rodman’s negotiating skills, but he and the North Korean dictator have rapport. That’s more than can be said about any other American.
The controversial power forward solidified his stardom by doing two things better than anyone else at the time: defending big men and grabbing rebounds. His flair gave him notoriety, but he delivered when he took to the court. Every other shot we’ve taken at North Korea has missed. Can Rodman make one last rebound off a missed shot?
Right now, relations with North Korea are at their lowest possible point without being in armed conflict. If relations deteriorate further, somebody’s going to attack the other. Nobody wants that. The chances that Rodman could be the catalyst for war are minimal. The potential that he could actually make a difference is better, though still a long shot. At this point, it may be time to put our money on the long shot. Otherwise, we’re an itchy trigger finger away from the potential for millions of deaths.
Dennis Rodman has urged President Trump to allow him to travel to North Korea as a peace envoy, according to media reports.
The former NBA star’s plea came after the State Department barred American passport holders from travelling there starting Sept. 1, after the death of Otto Warmbie r, a U.S. student who had been imprisoned for theft in the reclusive nation.
Rodman, who wanted to travel to the North’s capital Pyongyang for a sixth time, said during an interview in Beijing with the Guardian that American officials said of his travel plans: “it’s not a good time right now.”