FORMER basketball star and personal friend of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, Dennis Rodman, will reportedly head to Singapore for the summit US President Donald Trump on June 12.
An unnamed source told the New York Post that Rodman would be arriving in the Southeast Asian nation a day prior to the commencement of meetings.
“No matter what you might think about his presence. One thing’s for sure the ratings will be huge,” the source was quoted as saying. “A lot of times in situations that involve complex diplomacy countries like to identify ambassadors of goodwill and whether you agree with it or not Dennis Rodman fits the bill.”
Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, however, will reportedly not attend the high level talks in Singapore. CNN reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the President it would be “counterproductive” to allow Bolton – a notorious hawk on North Korea – to attend the summit.
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) March 30, 2018
Asked about the trip, Rodman’s manager Darren Prince said that “he’s talked about it, but no final trip or plans have been made.”
“It seemed like everyone [in the US] turned on him and now things seem to be happening, so he’s just happy it’s happening. He’s just hoping for a great historic outcome.”
Rodman has made a number of trips to North Korea over the years, bonding with its dictator over a love of basketball. In December last year he said that Trump and Kim were “pretty much the same person” because they both “love control”.
The former Chicago Bulls player, nicknamed “the Worm”, has come under criticism for his closeness with Kim as some US politicians and activists say it merely provides propaganda fodder for Pyongyang.