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Shooting Hoops In The Hermit Kingdom

February 28, 2013 by  

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.

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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?

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PHOTOS FROM VICE

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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