World

The Corner

Rodman and Kim

Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea. He is a friend of the dictator, Kim Jong-un. And he has worked with Donald Trump, on The Celebrity Apprentice. In a report, the Associated Press has this fascinating sentence: “Rodman, one of the few people to know both of the nuclear-armed leaders, sported a black T-shirt advertising a marijuana cybercurrency as he talked to reporters briefly before his flight from Beijing to the North Korean capital.”

I thought I would explain briefly why Rodman and Kim know each other. There have been three Kim dictators, as you recall: Kim Il-sung, the founder; Kim Jong-il, his son; and Kim Jong-un, his son. The second Kim — Jong-il — loved basketball. I mean, really, really loved it. He was a fanatic for the NBA, and his favorite player, naturally, was Michael Jordan.

In 2000, our secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, went to Pyongyang. She brought a gift, a peace offering, in a way: a basketball signed by Jordan.

It now resides in the International Friendship Exhibition Hall, along with — among other items — a crocodile briefcase from Fidel Castro and a gem-encrusted sword from Yasser Arafat.

Well, Jong-il passed on his love for basketball to his son Jong-un. (Another son likes Eric Clapton. Diff’rent strokes.) This explains the bond between Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman.

Very little is known about the dictator and his family, but Rodman has provided fascinating information — information that had not been known even by the best intelligence services in the world. For example, it is thanks to Rodman that we know the name of Kim’s daughter, apparently his first child: Ju-ae. How many children Kim has, no one knows.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, you will find it in my Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More