Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey with VICE to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining on sushi and drinking with him at his palace.
"You have a friend for life," Rodman told Kim before a crowd of thousands at a gymnasium where they sat side by side, chatting as they watched players from North Korea and the U.S. play, Alex Detrick, a spokesman for the New York-based VICE media company, told The Associated Press.
Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the professional Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy and a production crew to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series.
The unlikely encounter makes Rodman the most high-profile American to meet Kim since the young North Korean leader took power in December 2011, and takes place against a backdrop of tension between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test just two weeks ago, making clear the provocative act was a warning to the United States to drop what it considers a "hostile" policy toward the North.
Kim, a die-hard basketball fan, told the former Chicago Bulls star he hoped the visit would break the ice between the United States and North Korea, VICE founder Shane Smith said.
1) "You have a friend for life." Rodman said this to a man who -- succinctly stated by Wikipedia -- has this as part of his bio: Many reports indicate that the human rights violations under the leadership of Kim Jong-il are continued by Kim Jong-un, ordering to kill defectors, conducting public executions and sending people to political prison camps. .... The 2013 report on the situation of human rights in North Korea by United Nations Special Rapporteur Marzuki Darusman urged for a United Nations commission of inquiry to document the accountability of Kim Jong-un and other individuals in the North Korean government for alleged crimes against humanity.
2) They are shooting a basketball series for HBO and including North Korea.
3) Dennis Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since he took power.
NONE OF THIS COMPUTES.