Dennis Rodman Visits North Korea Again to Meet Kim Jong Un

Kristopher Drake
June 14, 2017

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman is now in North Korea, returning to the isolated nation to try to "open a door" with leader Kim Jong Un, he told reporters before his flight departed the Beijing airport Tuesday.

After his well-publicized "basketball diplomacy" trips back in 2013 and 2014, former NBA star Dennis Rodman is headed back to country.

Tensions have escalated on the Korean peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and its vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, presenting U.S. President Donald Trump with perhaps his most pressing security worry.

But it went from bad to worse when Rodman went on a tirade in another interview, and then sang happy birthday to leader Kim Jong Un, singing "happy birthday dear Marshal" to him from the court.

A foreign ministry official who spoke to the AP in Pyongyang confirmed Rodman was expected to arrive Tuesday but could not provide details.

His publicist also pointed out that Rodman was in the unusual position of being friends with both Mr Trump and Mr Kim.

Highlighting the long history of the relations between Russian Federation and North Korea, Kim expressed hope that the traditions of friendship between the two countries would be further strengthened, reports Sputnik.

The drone was found at a South Korean border town last Friday and South Korean investigators have since discovered hundreds of photos from its Sony-made in-built camera, a Defense Ministry official said, requesting anonymity because of department rules.

The basketball Hall of Famer has faced ridicule and criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some USA politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda. The company bills itself as a digital crypto-currency provider for the legal marijuana industry. "My goal is to go over there and try to see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea", the former Chicago Bulls forward told CNN.

In this undated photo published on September 7, 2013, on the homepage of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, talks with former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman during a dinner in North Korea. Rodman has previously appeared on the Trump-hosted reality show The Apprentice, and endorsed Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The former Chicago Bull had discussed his trips to North Korea with Trump before the businessman was elected president, according to associates of Rodman.

"We are aware of his visit".

"I wish they understood the whole objective of why I went to North Korea", said Rodman. But efforts to convince North Korea to release the men now held have not been successful so far. However, Rodman has been accused of ignoring North Korea's human rights atrocities, including the case of American citizen Kenneth Bae, who was held prisoner and sentenced to forced labor by the regime for allegedly planning to overthrow the North Korean government.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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