Shooting Hoops In The Hermit Kingdom
February 28, 2013 by Sam Rolley
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a VICE media employee, three Harlem Globe trotters and Dennis Rodman—no, this isn’t the beginning of a “walk into a bar” joke—got together Thursday to tape a made-for-TV basketball exhibition in the Hermit Kingdom for an upcoming HBO show.
According to the Associated Press, Rodman, three members of the Harlem Globetrotters, VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy and a production crew put on the exhibition between two teams, each featuring two Americans playing with North Koreans. The game ended in a questionable 110-110 tie.
At one point, Rodman told Kim, “You have a friend for life.”
At a time when tensions over nuclear weapons remain high between North Korea and the U.S., VICE media founder Shane Smith said he hoped the stunt would break the ice between the two.
”We knew that he’s [Kim’s] a big lover of basketball, especially the Bulls, and it was our intention going in that we would have a good-will mission of something that’s fun,” Smith said. ”A lot of times, things just are serious and everybody’s so concerned with geopolitics that we forget just to be human beings.”
Do you think this kind of privatized diplomacy is helpful?