Not so long ago, before he became president, Donald Trump did not appear to be open to the idea of establishing ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In 2013, basketball star Dennis Rodman began making trips to North Korea and met with Kim, who was said to be obsessed with the Chicago Bulls. Although Rodman’s visits were largely focused on basketball, he developed a friendship with the North Korean leader.
In an interview with Business Insider in 2014, Rodman said he had been trying to get other American celebrities, like Oprah Winfrey, to travel to North Korea but had not had much success. He did say that Trump had shown interest in visiting the country.
Those comments prompted a Twitter response from Trump:
Rodman, who traveled to Singapore to be there when Trump and Kim met, told Chris Cuomo of CNN, “I knew things were going to change.”
And while Trump still has not visited North Korea, the meeting with Kim in Singapore is a significant change in the United States’ posture toward the totalitarian country.