Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) - President Barack Obama would probably like nothing more than to take a knee and run out the clock on what's been – to put it kindly – a challenging year.
To put it less kindly, you could call it – in a nod to Judith Viorst's famous children's book – "Barack Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year."
(CNN) - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday, the country's state-run media reported.
The State Department is not involved in the trip, and Rodman is not officially representing the U.S.
"I'm not of the view that this is a particularly positive development," said Christopher Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at Denver University.
Hill said there are usually two sides to such widely-reported trips to North Korea. On the one hand it helps the regime suggest that everything is normal. On the other, it might be an opportunity to send a clear message to the Hermit Kingdom – on human rights violations, for example, or to advocate for the release of imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae.
"I'm not sure Dennis Rodman is the kind of person who can make that clearer message to the regime there," said Hill, who led the U.S. delegation during the six-party talks with North Korea from 2005-2009.