Maybe North Korean efforts might have been more difficult if not for a former Detroit athlete?
I thought this might be an opportune time to offer some credit to an unlikely recipient of praise for anything ‘diplomatic.’ The strange path to regained world prominence continues with a historic effort by Donald Trump’s administration and possibly bolstered by a former Detroit (among others) basketball player.
The effort by our president and his team in Singapore appears to have borne fruit. Removing the nuclear threat from North Korea is now a very real possibility, and even better, the possibility of continued human rights abuses by that regime will be lessened as economic growth and wealth realization appeals to its leadership.
Kim Jong Un, who came to power following the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011, an heir to a dictatorship has always had a taste for western luxury. A private yacht akin to a Disney ride, and port turned into a private resort. Former Piston Dennis Rodman described it as a Seven Star Party:
“He’s got 50 to 60 around him all the time – just normal people, drinking cocktails and laughing the whole time. …If you drink a bottle of tequila, it’s the best tequila .. Everything you want, he has the best.”
And Rodman was laughed at by many folks (including myself) for his attempt at personal diplomacy.
Dennis Rodman is a ..freaky guy. His stunts have earned him a reputation of crazy. But something most of us have missed, is that sometimes “crazy” works. But Crazy in this particular case apparently won him a friend. A friend who likes basketball. And rodman was invited to be close by for a reason.
And something Trump has repeatedly said is that personal face-to-face meetings are far more effective than a phone call. Rodman’s visits in the earlier part of this decade might well have opened a way years later when there was a US president who was not afraid to give a photo op to a ‘brutal dictator’ in order to secure the bigger prize of regional, and perhaps forward motion toward worldwide stability.
Western nations may want to hold their collective breath as to the permanence of the summit results, but something is cooking that smells better than Kimchi on the Korean Peninsula. And the secret ingredient in the recipe may well have been tattoos, basketball and decades of strange antics.
Perhaps as the beauty contest part of the Miss America ‘evolves’ out of existence, Rodman will find new places where he can continue to amuse those who have been trouble for previous administrations.
Maybe Vladmir Putin needs a new friend?