Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s colorful tweets from the heart of communist North Korea appear to have upset South Korea’s best known cultural export, the Gangnam Style rapper Psy.
In one of several tweets since he arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday with members of the Harlem Globetrotters, the retired basketball Hall of Famer wondered if he might meet up with Psy during his stay in the North.
“Maybe I’ll run into the Gangnam Style dude while I’m here,” he tweeted.
Whether Rodman was joking or not, Psy clearly decided he needed to be set right on the geopolitics of the divided Korean Peninsula and which side he hailed from.
“@dennisrodman I’m from #SOUTH man!!!” the singer retorted on his Twitter feed yesterday.
Psy, who has been on a constant world tour since his Gangnam Style video became last year’s viral hit, was in his home country on Monday for the inauguration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Arriving in Pyongyang on Tuesday, the US athlete and showman known as “The Worm” became an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy. Or maybe not so unlikely: Young North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Rodman won three championships with the club.
Shown a photo of a snarling Rodman, piercings dangling from his lower lip and two massive tattoos emblazoned on his chest, one North Korean in Pyongyang recoiled and said: “He looks like a monster!”
However, Rodman is also one of the best defenders and rebounders to ever play the game. During a storied, often controversial career, he won five NBA championships — a feat appreciated even in North Korea.