Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Dennis Rodman May Have Broken Global Sanctions While on North Korea Trip Dennis Rodman May Have Broken Global Sanctions While on North Korea Tr...

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Dennis Rodman May Have Broken Global Sanctions While on North Korea Trip


Dennis Rodman gestures as he has a drink while checking in for his flight to North Korea at Beijing's international airport on Jan. 6. The former NBA basketball player might have violated global sanctions against Pyongyang by giving lavish gifts to leader Kim Jong Un while on the trip.(Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

Dennis Rodman can't catch a break. 

On top of an abysmal trip to North Korea which ended with him taking a direct flight to rehab, Dennis Rodman is now the subject of a U.S. Treasury Department investigation because of gifts he gave to Kim Jong Un.


Showering a North Korean dictator with gifts not only looks bad paper, it's possibly against the law, as it could be a violation of American and United Nations sanctions against the nation and its people. Rodman reportedly brought many gifts with him in honor of Kim's 31st birthday ranging from suits, to a fur coat, to bottles of Jameson, to an expensive handbag. Those gifts allegedly costs upwards of $10,000 and experts believe those gifts could be seen as violations of U.N. sanctions.

What's perhaps more pressing for an American like Rodman is that these gifts actually violate U.S. law.

The Daily Beast reports: "Rodman may have violated an American law called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ... which makes it a violation of U.S. law for any person determined by the Treasury and State Departments 'to have, directly or indirectly, imported, exported, or reexported luxury goods to or into North Korea.'”


Gathering information from an unnamed U.S. official, the Daily Beast is reporting that the Treasury Department is actually investigating if Rodman broke that luxury good law. The State Department earlier had voiced their displeasure with Rodman's visit, calling it "marginally unhelpful."

The Beast also seems to think the feds have a pretty good case."Rodman could have applied for an export license for the goods, although export licenses for North Korea must meet strict criteria and luxury goods are specifically excluded from the list of items that could receive licenses, according to federal regulations."

Depending on what, if anything, Rodman brought over (and how much the government wants to smack him down), he could face up to $250,000 in fines or up to 20 years in jail if convicted. 

Reprinted with permission from The Wire. The original story can be found here.


This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

comments powered by Disqus