The heart of tech

This article was published on March 1, 2013


    Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

    Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    Here’s something you don’t see every day. Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman hanging out and watching basketball with Kim Jong-un, the leader of isolationist state North Korea.

    Talk about surreal — check out the rest of the audience kitted out in standard issue uniforms.

    vice2

    vice1

    vice3

    Rodman is currently in the country on a visit coordinated by Vice Magazine, which flew him and members of the Harlem Globetrotters over to the Asian country.

    The duo sat together to watch an exhibition basketball match in Pyongyang. Google President Eric Schmidt was unable to meet with Kim during his recent trip, but it is said that the North Korean leader’s love of basketball — which he discovered while at boarding school in Switzerland — has given Rodman this unprecedented access.

    It gets weirder though…

    The Telegraph reports that Rodman and three Globetrotters and the Vice crew headed back for a party at Kim’s palace after the game.

    “Apparently, he had a blast at the game,” Smith said, after speaking by phone with Ryan Duffy, a Vice Media correspondent who was on the trip. “So he invited them back to his home for a party, and they had a grand old time. Speeches were made — Dennis made a very nice one — and they were met with rounds of applause.”

    And weirder still…

    A tweet from Vic producer Jason Mojica that claims Kim got the crew drunk:

    Robin is said to have told Kim — who used translators to communicate with the former Chicago Bulls player during dinner — that he has “a friend for life”. That’s obviously pretty divisive stuff, given that North Korea is under global pressure for the treatment of its people, nuclear weapons etc.

    For his part, Rodman has tried to ignore politics, but obviously his visit has stirred plenty of opinion and criticism:

    Related:Instagram makes its way into North Korea after mobile data services are opened

    All images via Vice