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Dennis Rodman Gave Kim Jong-un Trump's Book and a Mermaid Puzzle

The NBA legend delivered 'Art of the Deal' to North Korea's sports minister, along with a copy of 'Where's Waldo?' and some artisan soap sets.

by Drew Schwartz and River Donaghey
Jun 15 2017, 4:15pm

AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon

Before weed-cryptocurrency emissary and basketball diplomat Dennis Rodman wrapped up his fifth trip to North Korea on Thursday, he left his buddy Kim Jong-un with a couple of parting gifts, according to the Associated Press. Among them was The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump's ghostwritten ode to his own business savvy.

Rodman handed the book to North Korean sports minister Kim Il Guk on Thursday, along with two signed jerseys (logical), a couple soap sets (weird), a copy of Where's Waldo? (why not?), and a mermaid jigsaw puzzle (also weird). The Washington Post points out that the children's book and puzzle are likely meant for Kim Jong-un's daughter, but Art of the Deal may very well end up on the leader's nightstand.

It's not totally clear what information Rodman is hoping Kim will glean from Trump's book. The thing is basically a long, persuasive essay about how the now-leader of the free world slays it in both the boardroom and the bedroom, with a few watered-down Robert Kiyosaki quotes thrown in for good measure. It's the literary equivalent of a pair of finger guns. Does Rodman think Kim will be impressed by how many important phone calls Trump says he makes? Does he hope the book will inspire some kinship between the two leaders, since they both owe their success to their daddies? The world may never fully know the Worm's true rationale.

While government officials have stressed that Rodman's not acting as an ambassador between the US and North Korea, he does have a relationship with President Trump. Rodman co-starred on the Celebrity Apprentice and advocated for electing his "great friend" to the presidency, so there's that.

In any case, this isn't the first time Rodman has trekked to the Hermit Kingdom. VICE took him to the country back in 2013 and gained access to the secluded nation thanks to Kim's love for the 90s era Chicago Bulls. Kim and Rodman became "best friends," and the two have hung out in North Korea a number of times since. This recent trip was sponsored by Potcoin, a cryptocurrency designed for marijuana dispensaries, which Rodman is now apparently advocating for.