Dennis Rodman is in North Korea, and he didn’t arrive empty handed.
The former NBA star gifted North Korean dictator a copy of President Donald Trump’s book “The Art of The Deal.” Other gifts included a copy of “Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection,” two autographed jerseys, a mermaid puzzle and two sets of soap.
The 1987 publication explains Trump’s negotiation tactics, encouraging readers to “think big,” “use your leverage,” and “maximize your options.” If Kim reads the book, he might gain valuable insight into Trump.
Rodman, who appeared on two seasons of Trump’s reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice,” landed in Pyongyang on Tuesday for at least his fourth visit to North Korea. On Thursday, he handed North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il Guk an unsigned copy of Trump’s most famous book, according to the Associated Press.
Since arriving in North Korea, Rodman has been catching up with old friends, visiting local sites, and hanging out with the country’s young basketball players.
“In the past, our respected supreme leader met you several times and he used his precious time to watch the basketball match with the players you brought here.
In the past he met you, so our people all know you well,” Kim Il Guk told Rodman.”
And also we feel that you are an old friend.”
The NBA player met with North Korean Olympic athletes, most notably judo gold medalist An Kum Ae.
“All of you guys should be proud of yourselves, because, you know, a lot of people don’t give you guys credit, because this is such a small country, and not many people from North Korea can compete around the world,” Rodman told the athletes.
“But for you guys to come back here in your country, with a medal, that says a lot about North Korea, because people don’t really take North Korea so seriously about sports or anything like that.”
Rodman has maintained that his visit has nothing to do with the White House.
It is unclear exactly what Rodman is doing is doing in North Korea. Rodman claims that he is in North Korea “to see some friends and have a good time,” but he also told reporters that he is visiting the North “to open a door.” While he is a friend of the president, who was his boss on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Rodman has repeatedly denied any connection to the White House.
Nonetheless, Rodman feels that Trump is likely pleased with his latest visit.
” I’m pretty sure he’s pretty much happy with the fact that I’m over here trying to accomplish something that we both need,” told reporters earlier this week.
Some observers initially suspected that the Basketball Hall-of-Famer may have been involved in the release of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student detained last year for allegedly stealing a political propaganda poster, a crime against the state. The Department of State has said that Rodman played no part in the student’s release.
Rodman’s visit comes at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Pyongyang. In recent months, North Korea has been regularly testing ballistic missiles, including many new systems, with promises of an eventual intercontinental ballistic missile test in the near future.