U.S Not Expecting Much Diplomatically from Dennis Rodman's Trip to North Korea

Former NBA basketball star's trip does not get endorsement from U.S. diplomats.
3:00 | 12/19/13

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Transcript for U.S Not Expecting Much Diplomatically from Dennis Rodman's Trip to North Korea
I'm tiger in and is in New York with his ABC news digital special report word has returned Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for another round of so called basketball diplomacy here is the former NBA's bars stars speaking about his. Trip from his hotel in Pyongyang. North Korea has teamed up to the -- players and fans -- -- so people can actually see. So this Christmas season this country's -- not as bad -- people the project will be you know in the media. I can control what they do they don't -- I can control they say how they didn't do things. I'm just gonna come here you know. This business schools bigger and -- -- -- article from the -- was a lot of people in the country. But -- Mara -- those doors are really about to open I want to bring in Scott Snyder senior fellow for Korea studies at the council on foreign relations. Scott welcome and Dennis Rodman being welcomed in North Korea he's there to train basketball players extensively. But is there more going on. I'm expecting a lot of basketball but not much diplomacy to come out of the strip. It's. It'd -- -- to assess what could come out because. The government US government has distance itself from the truck and it's not necessarily clear that there are people on the trip that would necessarily bring -- here great insights into. What's happening inside North Korea. So let's talk about the role that the White House or lack of -- the White House is playing in this the US says it doesn't have anything to do with Dennis Rodman or strip but it's not really. Said much for or against how do we take that we take that -- -- tacit endorsement. Of this trip the fact that the United States hasn't spoken out against it. Well do what I've noticed is that the State Department has spent a lot of time talking -- bombs. North Korean human rights issues when they've -- -- questions about the trip. And in fact we also saw. Washington Post editorial. By one of the -- -- victims of the North Korean. -- human rights treatments asking Rodman take up this issue. And so what I see is more kind of -- -- in terms of criticism precisely because. Dennis Rodman is. Essentially working on a leadership products. It's one that will. Have the a faction boosting Kim Jung on. And possibly honoring come the date for this. Exhibition game is reporters should be can Germans birthday January 8. Next year. So Rodman there you see disembarking the plane with some cameras there's documentary film crew traveling with and he says. He's gonna get to see -- real North Korea obviously. With cameras coming -- -- is very unlikely right. Well we'll see version of North Korea it'll be the version that Kim Jong-un decides to show -- And as we look at these two individuals -- -- the question. Is really who is using moment who is being use. As part of this particular an option. So they're both considered. Eccentric characters in their own right and we have Rodman here speaking about his relationship with Kim -- and let's have a listen. Well that is that is heartwarming. -- -- -- -- -- You can do people always -- feel a little hard time -- -- -- it -- is that he's my friend. I'm very very proud the season for him because he hasn't. Anytime soon to put a damper -- the same negative things about my country or this and that. I think -- Dennis Travis says their friends and knowing the eccentricities of Kim Jung -- is this. A statement that. We believe -- what what what are we think is really going on here. Well I believe that Kim Jung and does slight Dennis Rodman or he wouldn't be have invited them to North Korea. In an odd sort of way I mean and you -- Kim Jung -- is the absolute ruler. And North Korea he controls things he gets what he wants. And he turns out also to be an NBA fan. And so. It looks like he's gotten Rodman. To play along -- order response to -- But then the question is to what end. Is it going to be and interaction that leads to. Kim Jung -- satisfaction. Or. Greater elevation in the eyes of north Koreans or. Is this and our action that can actually yield some results in terms. -- -- national interests that are related issues North Korea. You know there's a US citizen being held there. Back in August. When Dennis Rodman -- the last time he initially said that he might ask about it and he realized that it was very sensitive issue. So you know this is really. Just a trip by an individual who has been invited because. The leader of this particular regime house. Peculiar special interest. Yen. Basketball. There's no reason for us to believe that Rodman in forging. You know -- closer relationship is as you know any person in the United States has been able to have with Kim -- and would really have any influence in the end. -- -- In a way the odd thing is that this could should be an opportunity at least four. Both sides submitted -- at least for the United States to learn more. A bounce. -- leadership in North Korea but judging by the results of Rodman's first two visits. It doesn't necessarily -- that he or his team have necessarily brought back. You know any special insights others in the name of -- -- baby daughter -- Today and you know one has to wonder for eight Rodman is chilled by the fact that. Can gentlemen recently ordered the execution of his uncle Jan song tech. Who was a trusted advisor. To Kim -- and you know what does that tell us how is that shifted or consolidated power in that country what's going on there. You know what's really interesting is that chunks from tech was had been appointed -- the chairman of the sports commission in North Korea. And presumably would be right in the middle of this type of interaction. Yes. He I guess had been assigned primarily to dealing with. Japanese washed up wrestlers rather than an American basketball players. And certainly there are a lot of questions about the internal political dynamics and North Korea that resulted from. The announcement on execution. Right now the emphasis I think and North Korea is on trying to portray normalcy. I think that's Rodman strip probably aids the North Korean regime. To a certain extent. Without. But it also reveals that this is -- regime right now that is led by someone who is. Both impulsive and brutal and so. Terms of the broader international -- and the fox that Kim Jong-un appears to be strengthening his trip. On power is one that is not necessarily very comforting. And we should mention that John -- text YE. And Kim diamonds on hasn't been seen since his execution. Does this tell us that he is more brutal than his predecessors. Leader of the parents history of purges in North Korea has -- one and where. Members of the elite where they extended family. Have at least been not been allowed to. Live -- their lives even if they were isolated from power. But Kim -- and it's taken a different approach by. Ordering the execution. -- uncle. I think that it does have a faction in terms of international perceptions. Kim -- -- as perhaps more brutal and certainly should house. An internal unconscious on. Those who are under Kim -- on he's really governing by fear right now rather than -- loyalty. And probably not something Dennis Rodman should bring up on his trips and visit. Our personal audience with can damage and if he -- we don't even know about for sure right. Well of judging by the house I think that it's likely that he did and -- that Dennis Rodman won't have an opportunity at a garage but it's. The other question is it -- -- -- a moral question how much can you enjoy your visit. With someone who. Has done you know exhibiting brutality. Or. Has been a perpetrators of injustices. And these other broad areas and not. -- -- and and just to play out a crazy scenario what happens if Dennis Rodman. Does something wrong -- Kim -- on the wrong way what is the United States do in that case. Well I'm sure the last thing that the US wants is to have another American being held in North Korea. Like Kenneth day who still there or Merrill Newman the former. American. Veteran. Who had been held for about a month there. And was forced dramatic fashion. I think is unlikely that that will happen to Dennis Rodman. Because he's so high profile. And because he's there at the invitation of the leader. But. It's just -- certainly possible to imagine that. If -- mid two wrong statements are wrong -- that it would be the end of that particular relationship. OK well Latin. Interesting relationship interesting trip we'll see what happens Scott Snyder senior fellow for Korean studies at the council on foreign relations thank you for joining us thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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