GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — For his next trick, an English professor who moonlights as a magician will reappear – in North Korea for a fourth time.
Dale Salwak, 66, was first invited to North Korea in 2009, when then leader Kim Jong Il wanted to invite an American magician to the small, closed-off country. Since then, Salwak has traveled there in 2011 and 2012 and has been invited for a fourth trip as soon as this spring.
“The purpose of the trip in 2012 was to bring an American delegation as the first step of what we hoped what would be a people-to-people exchange between the United States and North Korea purely on a private, civilian basis,” Salwak said.
Salwak, who says his nickname is the “Gentleman of Magic,” is not scheduled to perform for this latest trip. Instead, he will be part of meetings, tours and social events that could possibly bring North Korean magicians to the U.S.
“I’m not a politician, I’m not a trained diplomat,” Salwak said. “I am an educator, I’m a magician. The performing arts knows no political barriers.”