During his visit to North Korea, former basketball star Dennis Rodman reportedly gave a senior official a copy of President Donald Trump’s bestselling book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”
Rodman, who was photographed giving the book to North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il Guk, appears to have a relationship with both Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He was on Trump’s television show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” and the NBA hall of famer has called Kim, a reported basketball fan, “a friend for life.”
It was unclear if the sports minister would pass the book to Kim Jong Un or if Rodman would meet with Kim during the visit. The book was reportedly not signed by the president.
Rodman’s arrival in Pyongyang Tuesday coincided with the release of American prisoner Otto Warmbier who had been held in N. Korea for over a year. U.S. officials say the release was not connected with Rodman’s visit.
U.S. officials say the visit, which is expected to last four nights, was private and that Rodman was not representing the U.S.
Rodman has been to N. Korea before as a part of something he called “basketball diplomacy.” Before boarding a flight to Pyongyang in Beijing, Rodman reportedly said he hoped to accomplish “something that’s pretty positive.”
Tensions between the U.S. and N. Korea have been rising of late as a result of a barrage of missile tests conducted by the secretive country.