Kim wanted US to send 'famous basketball players' to North Korea: report

Kim wanted US to send 'famous basketball players' to North Korea: report
© Getty

North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea replaces its foreign minister: report Brent Budowsky: The patriotic duty of Senate Republicans US ambassador: 'I was personally surprised' North Korea did not send 'Christmas gift' MORE wanted the United States to send "famous basketball players" to the country as part of a deal to normalize relations, ABC News reported Thursday.

The proposal was reportedly made as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries ahead of their summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, earlier this year.

North Korea also reportedly requested the exchange of orchestras between the two countries as a requirement for denuclearization.

ADVERTISEMENT

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill on private diplomatic conversations.

The summit in Hanoi was ultimately unsuccessful, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE pulled out of negotiations.

Kim has been very public about his love for basketball and is close friends with NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, who has visited Pyongyang frequently.

Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, was also a basketball fan.

In 2000, he requested that the U.S. send Michael Jordan to North Korea. Jordan declined and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gifted a ball signed by the six-time NBA champion to the North Koreans instead.