If we were to have a foreign ambassador to North Korea, Dennis Rodman would bizarrely be the most qualified for the role, as no American seems to spend as much time there as he does. The man frequently travels back and forth from the totalitarian state, and has rare access to its leaders.
Prior to his current trip there, the New York Times reported that “some analysts speculated that Mr. Rodman may even be carrying a message from President Trump, who had previously praised his efforts to engage North Korea.”
Trump praised Rodman's previous #DPRK trip. Rodman endorsed Trump. High probability of some communication or even coordination.
— Suzanne DiMaggio (@suzannedimaggio) June 12, 2017
The State Department denies that Rodman’s trip is anything other than a private one, but as the Washington Post reported:
The former basketball star who’s now on his fifth visit to Pyongyang, just presented a copy of “The Art of the Deal” to the North Korean leader. That means that Kim — a man that Trump has already called a “pretty smart cookie” — might be wise to Trump’s tactics if the two ever meet.
In the 1987 book, Trump lays out the key principles to stick to during a negotiation — basically, the recipe to his success. These include mantras like “think big” and “maximize your options.”
Rodman had hoped to see the 33-year-old North Korean leader — to whom he once sang “Happy Birthday” from the basketball court — during this latest visit to North Korea. That doesn’t appear to have happened yet.
This may be a cheeky gesture on Rodman’s part.
Trump and Rodman know each other — the basketballer was on “Celebrity Apprentice” — and Kim hosted Rodman in North Korea several times in 2013 and 2014. Rodman has called Kim a “friend for life” and tweeted that Trump “has been a great friend for many years.”
So what might Kim Jong Un learn if he delves into Trump’s book, marketed as containing the former businessman’s “formulated time-tested guidelines for success”? One principle: “Use your leverage.” “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead,” Trump says in the book.
Well, hopefully they don’t learn too much from the book.