Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman confirmed yesterday that he will be in Singapore for the US-North Korea summit that is set to take place next Tuesday. US President Donald Trump will be meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel in Sentosa from 9am onwards.
Rodman, who played for the Chicago Bulls in his heyday, thanked his sponsors PotCoin and Prince Marketing for allowing his visit to happen in a tweet yesterday and added, “I’ll give whatever support is needed to my friends, @realDonaldTrump and Marshall Kim Jong Un.”
While Rodman may be in Singapore during the historic meeting, the White House confirmed that the retired athlete will not be involved in the actual talks. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters, “I don’t know what part the best rebounder in basketball has to play in that. He is great on the court but negotiations should be left to those who are good at it…Trump is the best.”
Gidley added that he expects Trump and Kim to have “an amazing conversation without Dennis Rodman in tow”.
Gidley’s confirmation comes on the back of Trump’s own confirmation that Rodman would not be attending the unprecedented meet. Speaking to reporters as he met visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said: “I like him. He’s a nice guy. No, he was not invited.”
Rodman, a prolific basketball player who has won several National Basketball Association (NBA) awards during his career, is known for his unique friendship with Kim. Rodman has made five trips to Pyongyang since his “friend for life” – as he describes Kim – took power.
After Rodman first visited the secretive state in 2013 accompanied by members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, he organised a team of North Korean basketball players for an exhibition match commemorating Kim’s birthday the next year in 2014.
Rodman has been caught on camera singing “Happy Birthday” to Kim. He made waves last June, during his last trip to North Korea, when he gifted Kim a copy of Trump’s best-selling book, The Art of the Deal.
Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing , I will be flying to Singapore for the historical Summit. I'll give whatever support is needed to my friends, @realDonaldTrump and Marshall Kim Jong Un. pic.twitter.com/QGPZ8nPrBE
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) June 8, 2018