Former NBA player Dennis Rodman has asked US President Donald Trump for the US – North Korea envoy role. Rodman has visited North Korea in the past but a ban, announced in July, does not allow US citizens to travel to the country. The ban announcement came a month after the death of Otto Warmbier, a US citizen who was arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking a propaganda poster.
The ban came into effect on September 1, stopping Rodman from making more trips to North Korea. The former basketball player visited the country for the first time four years ago. He believes the envoy role would be good for peace.
In recent months, North Korea has tested several missiles, claiming they could reach the US. The recent missile tests have led to sanctions but North Korea has continued. Reports say North Korea has fired 23 missiles during 16 tests in the last ten months.
Rodman calls Kim his friend and believes the envoy role would calm things down. He says that if he can go back there, he’ll talk to him, have dinner, a glass of wine and do his thing. The former NBA player added that a lot of people around the world want him to go just to see if he can do something.
Rodman has visited North Korea five times and his latest was in June, a month before the ban was announced. Rodman has met North Korea’s leader during some of his visits but not in his most recent. Rodman arrived to North Korea the same day Warmbier was released. Rodman’s agent told ABC News that before the visit, he asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times.
The former professional basketball player said in an interview with ABC News that the visits are to communicate sports-wise and not political stuff. He added that it is almost just trying to see if he can bring sports to North Korea.
The ban, which came into effect in September, has stopped Rodman from making his sixth trip. US officials have said those individuals seeking to travel to North Korea can apply to the Department of State for a special validation passport. The Department of State has warned US citizens in the past not to travel to North Korea due to the arrests of US citizens. Three Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea.