Basketball Diplomacy

From iCulturalDiplomacy
Jump to: navigation, search

Dennis Rodman's brings his Basketball to North Korea[edit]

In September 2013 Dennis Rodman, retired American Hall of Fame professional basketball player, announced that he had accepted the position of head coach with North Korea's national basketball team. Although initially rather controversial, Rodman's trip has increasingly been interpreted as a meaningful act of bilateral, non-governmental cooperation that has indirectly thawed relations between the USA and the North Korea. Very few Americans have the opportunity to visit North Korea and no single North Korean leader has been granted a visit to the USA. As such, Rodman's move was quite exceptional; especially considering that it came barely a year after Pyongyang threated the Western World with a nuclear attack. The cooperation between the 'bad boy' pierced, tattooed and cursing American sport celebrity and Kim Jong-un is a fantastic example of Cultural Diplomacy through sport. It continues the tradition of unusual yet effective intercultural dialogue first seen with the Ping-Pong diplomacy of 1940s. A less politicized approach, which does not deliver direct political prestige or diplomatic recognition, can have a positive influence on official relations between countries.