Thwarted markets in everything

Ahead of the second summit in Hanoi, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un requested as part of the agreement between the countries moving forward that the U.S. send “famous basketball players” to normalize relations between the two countries, according to two U.S. officials.

The request was made in writing, officials said, as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, and at one point the North Koreans insisted that it be included in the joint statement on denuclearization. The North Koreans also made a request for the exchange of orchestras between the two countries.

Here is the full story.  Via Ian Bremmer.


Yes Emperor Kim, we will send our gladiators.

Dennis Rodman is the world's most important powerbroker being personal friends with both Kim and Trump. The NBA is a more important institution for global peace than the UN. With players from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe, it has a great international following as well. I'd like to see more Indian players shoot some hoops but they really love their cricket out there. The NBA would be happy to turn a billion curry fans into, well, a billion Curry fans.

I don't think 'power broker' means what you think it means; he's a mutual friend and occasional intermediary.

And I fail to see how having many fans watching your games makes you _such_ an important institution for global peace. They're helpful, sure, but you seem to be grossly exaggerating their particular import.

...that Kim is still batshit nuts. He's entertaining. We need more Bond villain bad guys, like Putin and Kim.

There is a significant gene editing program in NK. Kim is attempting to source DNA from above average height specimens to produce designer babies selected for height.

Putin is one of the smartest statesman in the world today, and the guy who turned around what seemed to be a terminal case for Russia in the 1990s, so it's very unfair to compare him to Kim

It was oil prices that saved Russia not Putin.

Yeah, and without good government apparatus and oil companies actually paying taxes, who cares about those prices. Also those prices remain high because of OPEC+ (facilitated by Russia). Your comment is about as useful as saying "USA is saved by dollar's use as global financial instrument". If that is the only reason, then we drop 80% of what makes country a country and oversimplify for no good reason.

Progressives strike me as a kind and forgiving lot. For example, the latest New Yorker has a piece on the great English historian Eric Hobsbawm, who famously refused leave the Communist party after the Soviets crushed the Hungarian democratic uprising in 1956 (when, it should be added, Communist party membership dropped quickly in Western Europe and even the likes of Sartre found the Communist bullying so egregious that he quit the French party). (Not did the Soviet incursion into Czechoslovakia 12 years later dim his support for the international communist cause.) The New Yorker thus joins many august magazines and journals, to say nothing of many historians, in forgiving, whitewashing and even defending Hobsbawm. But there may be an end to progressive forgiveness. Take North Korea’s Kim for example. Should he — for basketball or other reasons — ever see fit to make a deal with America that somehow makes Trump look good, then I think the kid gloves will come off, and Kim will feel the fury of American progressives.

'and Kim will feel the fury of American progressives'

Which he will yawn at - or possibly chuckle a bit.

LeBron's not busy at the moment ...

Remember ping pong diplomacy between the U.S. and China in the early 1970s. The two countries went from ping pong diplomacy in the early 1970s to a trade war today. Progress, I suppose.

LA Lakes vs the 4'3" NK team.

It's an obvious attempt by Kim to get high-profile basketball players to use as hostages, similar to the crew of the Pueblo, a prize still kept as a monument to NorK courage.

Was Rodman going to chaperone the basketball players to NK, and was the geode going to be a nice bread-and-butter gift?

Given that North Korea is a dictatorship and that it's a well known fact that Kim Jong-un is a basketball nut, it's not that surprising...

Interesting article!! Given that North Korea is a dictatorship and that it's a well known fact that Kim Jong-un is a basketball nut, it's not that surprising...
click here

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