President Trump has invited NBA star Dennis Rodman to attend the North Korea peace talks in Singapore next week.
Rodman, who was made unofficial ambassador to North Korea last year, was identified as the perfect candidate to participate in Trump’s negotiations due to his close personal relationship with Kim Jong-un.
Nypost.com reports: “The Worm” will arrive in the country a day before the June 12 sitdown — and sources said he 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 said. “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.”
The zany, 6-foot-7 ex-baller — who has struck up an unlikely bromance with the pint-sized, 5-foot-7 Kim, and has visited the rogue regime five times in the past — took some of the credit for getting the two leaders together.
In an April interview with TMZ, Rodman said that Kim didn’t understand the president until he gave the North Korean strongman a copy of Trump’s ghost-written book, “The Art of the Deal,” for his birthday in 2017.
“I think [Kim] didn’t realize 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 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,” 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.”
Darren Prince, Rodman’s rep, 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 said. Prince marveled at the treatment Rodman 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,” Prince said.
Trump and Kim will meet at a luxury resort on Sentosa Island for nuclear talks next week in Singapore, the White House said Tuesday. The historic meeting will be held at the Capella Hotel, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted.
“We thank our great Singaporean hosts for their hospitality,” Sanders said. Trump and Kim’s highly anticipated meeting is scheduled for June 12 at 9 a.m. Singapore time — or 9 p.m. on June 11 New York Time — after a flurry of on-again-off-again action.
Trump hopes to secure a nuclear deal with the North Koreans, seeking for Kim to give up his nuclear program, though he stressed last week that the process would likely take longer than a single meeting.
Located a quarter mile off the coast of the city-state, Sentosa Island is known for its high-end beach hotels, golf courses and amusement parks. A US advance team was spotted at the Capella Hotel last week meeting with North Korean officials in preparation for the summit.
Officials had also considered the Shangri-La Hotel, which hosts an annual international security summit and was the venue for a 2015 meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.