You’ve Got a Friend

I wasn’t going to write about Dennis Rodman’s weird good-will trip to North Korea, or whatever it is, until it just got too surreal to ignore, per this report from AP’s Jean Lee:

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining and drinking with him at his palace….

Dressed in a blue Mao suit, Kim laughed and slapped his hands on the table before him during the game as he sat nearly knee to knee with Rodman. Rodman, the man who once turned up in a wedding dress to promote his autobiography, wore a dark suit and dark sunglasses, but still had on his nose rings and other piercings. A can of Coca-Cola sat on the table before him in photos shared with AP by VICE….

Thursday’s game ended in a 110-110 draw, with two Americans playing on each team alongside North Koreans, [VICE Media spokesman] Detrick said. The Xinhua News Agency first reported on the game, citing witnesses who attended.

After the game, Rodman addressed Kim in a speech before a crowd of tens of thousands of North Koreans, telling him, “You have a friend for life,” Detrick said.

At a lavish dinner at Kim’s palace, the leader plied the group with food and drinks as the group made round after round of toasts, members of the delegation said.

“Um … so Kim Jong Un just got the (hash)VICEonHBO crew wasted … no really, that happened,” VICE producer Jason Mojica wrote on his Twitter feed from Pyongyang.

It’s a shame Rodman wasn’t around last year to hang with his friend for this performance:

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.