VICE Takes 'Basketball Diplomacy' Effort to North Korea
VICE, the Brooklyn-based youth media company, today led a team of "Basketball Diplomats" to Pyongyang, North Korea to engage in a cultural exchange mission. The delegation consists of VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, select members of the Harlem Globetrotters, and a production crew that will be filming for the upcoming HBO series VICE.
The VICE-led delegation arrived in the basketball-crazed city Pyongyang today for a week-long trip that will include running a basketball camp for North Korean children and engaging in community-based games to encourage openness and better relations with the outside world. Additionally, there may be a top-level scrimmage to be attended by Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.
Other activities that will be filmed on the trip for HBO's VICE series will include visits to national sites and monuments, the Pyongyang Skate Park, and the national animation studio, SEK. The series debuts FRIDAY, APRIL 5 (11:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
Shane Smith, VICE Founder and host of the upcoming VICE series on HBO, said, "Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes. But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing. These channels of cultural communication might appear untraditional, and perhaps they are, but we think it's important just to keep the lines open. And if Washington isn't going to send their Generals then we'll send our Globetrotters - Cue music - 'Sweet Georgia Brown.' "
VICE, a weekly series that premieres exclusively on HBO, is hosted by VICE correspondents, including the company's founder, Shane Smith, and is executive produced by Bill Maher, Eddy Moretti and Smith, with CNN's Fareed Zakaria serving as a consulting producer. Covering such stories as out-of-control political assassinations in the Philippines, the sumo/Mixed Martial Arts craze that has swept Senegal and the precarious nuclear stare-down in Kashmir, VICE features groundbreaking reporting from around the world.
VICE was launched in 1994 as a "punk zine" and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. VICE operates the world's premier original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency and a book-publishing division. VICE's digital channels include Noisey, a music discovery channel, The Creators Project, dedicated to the arts and creativity, Motherboard, covering cultural happenings in technology, and Fightland, a channel dedicated to the culture of MMA. To date, VICE boasts over 60 established shows that cover everything from current events to sex to investigative reporting to music to kittens.