Dennis Rodman's North Korea Trip Isn't Making North Korea Any Less Anti-U.S.

He's on a mission with the Harlem Globetrotters for "basketball diplomacy," but North Korea claimed its nuclear weapons were "within the range" of the United States the morning after he arrived.

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Dennis Rodman, one-time husband of Carmen Electra and failed Celebrity Apprentice, is currently on a diplomatic trip to North Korea, having landed in Pyongyang last night. So how's he doing? Well, Pyongyang on Wednesday warned that they could totally send an atomic bomb over to the U.S. if they wanted. "North Korea warned Wednesday that the United States is now within the range of its strategic rockets and atomic weapons, and stressed it is now a country that can protect itself from foreign aggression," reads a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency. That warning came by way of Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda site that became famous for a video earlier this month that envisioned an American city under attack and fire. Yonhap interprets the propaganda as follows::

Uriminzokkiri also said that the United States, instead of learning from its defeat in the Korean War (1950-53), has stepped up efforts to invade the North. It said that Washington and its followers should realize the capability of the North to deal a decisive blow to its enemies and refrain from further provocations 

Now, before start Googling "miles from North Korea to California" or "how to build an atomic bomb shelter" these warnings are in line, for better or worse, with what North Korea has been saying in the days leading up to and since they successfully completed their third nuclear test in history this month. But, yeah, those recently revealed secret diplomatic missions by U.S. officials definitely didn't work — and neither did this weekend's phone call.

Google chief Eric Schmidt didn't smooth things over, either, and neither is Dennis Rodman, whose travelling companions say he's on a mission with the Harlem Globetrotters for "basketball diplomacy" while taking footage for a Vice-produced HBO program. Here's some awkward footage of the beginnings of all of that, as Rodman and his fellow ambassadors of goodwill arrived in the North Korean capital:

"I look at this as basketball diplomacy, the same way we had Ping-Pong diplomacy with China," Vice founder Shane Smith is quoted as saying in The New York Times. "North Korean kids are fed anti-American propaganda from pretty much the day they are born. But it's O.K. to like American basketball." Yeah, but can you have both at the same time? Rodman and Co. may be severely underestimating the cold North Korean hearts that the propaganda machine speaks for/to right now, the kind of cold hearts only warmed by the nuclear radiation emanating from the ashy remains of their enemies. Rodman, according to his Twitter account, is just being himself:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.