- By Uri Friedman
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.
As if Dennis Rodman calling Kim Jong Un an “awesome guy” whose people “love him” wasn’t enough to stoke outrage about the former NBA star’s utterly bizarre visit to North Korea this week, North Korean television is now running images of Rodman bowing to North Korea’s new leader. Here’s a still, which appears at 6:16 in this report:
According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Rodman’s visit included not only a basketball game and an “amicable” dinner with Kim Jong Un, but also a stop at “the halls which house cars, an electric car, a boat and train coaches used by [Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il] during their field guidance and foreign trips till the last moments of their lives,” and a visit to the Rungna Dolphinarium, where Rodman and his entourage “spent a good time watching dolphins dancing to the tune of cheerful music, jumping in group, spinning rings, jumping into the air and shaking hands with people.” (The photo below shows Rodman and some Harlem Globetrotters touring another monument in the capital.)
As he was leaving North Korea on Friday, Rodman told reporters that “Kim Jong Un is like his grandfather and his father, who are greater leaders.” Kim “is an awesome kid,” he added, “very honest and loves his wife so much.” Here’s footage of Rodman’s impromptu press conference:
For those people worrying that Rodman’s visit has only emboldened North Korea’s repressive leader, consider this: Yes, the NBA star bowed to Kim Jong Un. But he also referred to the head of a nuclear power as an “awesome kid.”
(h/t: Adam Cathcart)
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.| Passport |
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |