Dennis Rodman defends his North Korea visits

Last updated 07:42 08/01/2014
Dennis Rodman
Reuters
GAME TIME: Dennis Rodman holds a bottle of beer as he arrives at Beijing airport, on his way to North Korea for an exhibition game with former NBA players.
Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un
TEAM HUDDLE: Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un share a moment.

Dennis Rodman's bromance

Relevant offers

Basketball

Adelaide 36ers promise physical retribution after Game 1 rout Maccabi Tel Aviv win thriller as Real rout Red Star First blood to NZ Breakers as they wallop Adelaide 36ers in ANBL playoff series clash Tom Abercrombie - it's time to get aggressive A quick semifinal series win over Adelaide 36ers the goal for New Zealand Breakers Shell-shocked Adelaide 36ers vow to fight back against clinical New Zealand Breakers LeBron James Jr already receiving college offers Underdog NZ Breakers ready for stiff Adelaide challenge as ANBL playoffs tip off Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spreads wings wide as Renaissance Man Breakers leader Mika Vukona ready to step up for Adelaide in ANBL playoffs

American basketball star Dennis Rodman has defended his latest visit to North Korea in an interview with broadcaster CNN, saying it would help "open the door" to the reclusive state.

Rodman, speaking during his fourth trip to the country, expressed "love" for leader Kim Jong Un and claimed his controversial trip was a "great idea for the world".

Rodman and a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to mark Kim's birthday, which is believed to fall today, though this has never been officially confirmed.

The games come just weeks after Kim's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek was purged and executed. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described recent events in North Korea as a "reign of terror."

During the interview, the former NBA star also appeared to question the activities of Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who has been held in North Korea on charges of crimes against the state since May last year.

"If you understand what Kenneth Bae did .... Do you understand what he did in this country? Why is he held captive in this country?" Rodman said.

Rodman has faced both ridicule and harsh criticism from some quarters for his trips, which some US politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for propaganda efforts by the North Korean regime.

"This is not about me. If I can open the door a little bit, just a little bit," Rodman said. "It's all about the game. People love to do one thing - sports."

He also lamented the criticism his visits have drawn.

"It's amazing how we thrive on negativity. Does anyone know this guy's only 31 years old?" he said of Kim, whom he calls his friend.

"Dennis, he could be 31, he could be 51," said CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo. "He's just killed his uncle. He's holding an American hostage."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

How do you expect the Breakers to perform in this season's Australian NBL?

Last season was a blip, they'll be champions once again

They'll go close to another title, beaten finalists I'd say

Playoffs for sure, but can't see them going any further

Not too excited, they'll miss the playoffs again

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content