To The Editor:

I’d like to respond to the Dec. 21-22, 2013, editorial “Staying In the Limelight” about Dennis Rodman returning to North Korea. The Missourian has good points about the issue, but it is overlooking something.

I’ll let fellow Missourian Mark Twain lead in for me: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Advice we should all take to heart.

Unfortunately, almost all North Koreans cannot leave their country and acquire a broader view of the world, so the next best thing to help alleviate their misconceptions is to have the world visit them. The more friendly contact they have, the safer the world will become and, given the popularity of basketball in North Korea and China, Rodman’s efforts are not in vain.

Totalitarian regimes thrive best when the people have little outside contact. The best way foreign powers can support such a regime is to avoid contact with it so its people remain ignorant.

The best way to overthrow such a regime is continued contact with it so its people learn.