NBA star and Kim Jong Un pal Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore for Trump-Kim summit: Report

Dennis Rodman (right) has struck up an unlikely bromance with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an avid sports fan and basketball lover.
Dennis Rodman (right) has struck up an unlikely bromance with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an avid sports fan and basketball lover.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK - NBA star turned Kim Jong Un soulmate Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore during the North Korean leader's summit with US President Donald Trump next week, The New York Post reported on Tuesday (June 5).

Mr Rodman, a flamboyant personality who is known for his tattoos, body piercings and multicoloured hair, has struck up an unlikely bromance with Mr Kim, an avid sports fan and basketball lover, and has visited North Korea five times.

 

Mr Rodman will arrive in Singapore a day before the June 12 sitdown, the New York Post said. It cited sources as saying Mr Rodman, nicknamed The Worm, could even play some sort of role in the negotiations.

"No matter what you might think about his presence. One thing's for sure the ratings will be huge," a source was quoted as saying.

"A lot of times in situations that involve complex diplomacy countries like to identify ambassadors of goodwill and whether you agree with it or not Dennis Rodman fits the bill."

Mr Darren Prince, Rodman's representative, said no trip to Singapore had been confirmed but that The Worm would be willing to go if his expertise were needed.

"He's talked about it, but no final trip or plans have been made," he was quoted by the Post as saying.

 
 
 
 
 

Mr Rodman has taken some of the credit for getting the two leaders together.

In an April interview, Mr Rodman said Mr Kim didn't understand the president until he gave the North Korean strongman a copy of Mr Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," for his birthday in 2017.

"I think [KIM]didn't realise who Donald Trump was at that time, I guess, until he started to read the book and started to get to understand him. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are pretty much the same," Rodman told the TMZ website.

"I don't want to take all the credit. I don't want to sit there and say, 'I did this, I did that.' That's not my intention," Mr Rodman told the website.

"My intention was to go over and be a sports ambassador to North Korea so people understand how the people are in North Korea. I think that has resonated to this whole point now."

Mr Rodman, 57, is considered one of the best defensive players and rebounders in NBA history.

He won five league championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

He had competed on the sixth season of Celebrity Apprentice - part of the Trump Apprentice reality-show franchise - in 2013 and was fired in the sixth episode in part for misspelling the name of Mr Trump's wife, Melania, in an advertisement.

Mr Rodman told Business Insider in 2014 that Mr Trump had asked to accompany him on a trip to North Korea. Mr Trump denied it on Twitter.

"Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to," wrote Mr Trump.

Mr Prince, the Rodman representative, highlighted the treatment the NBA star got years ago when he first decided to visit the North at Kim's invitation.

"It seemed like everyone [IN THE US]turned on him and now things seem to be happening, so he's just happy it's happening. He's just hoping for a great historic outcome," Mr Prince said.