Rodman heads back to NK

Last updated 19:00 06/01/2014
dennis rodman
REUTERS
SURROUNDED: Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport to leave for Pyongyang.

Relevant offers

Americas

Teen earns $500,000 a year babysitting Republican Senator throws snowball to disprove climate change US jury convicts Osama bin Laden aide over 90s embassy bombings Llama pursuit goes down in the US US regulator FCC approves new Net Neutrality rules Internet generosity helps homeless man who helped motorists in snowstorm Saudi convicted over 1998 bombings of US embassies Top NYPD cop says IS threat is 'real' as three charged in plot Hillary Clinton signals different approach to gender in 2016 Marijuana legalised in Washington DC

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman left Beijing for North Korea on Monday with a team of retired basketball players to mark the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who he declared a ''nice guy''.

This will be Rodman's fourth trip to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, where he and his team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games on Kim's birthday.

On previous visits, Rodman spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip.

Rodman said he will not interfere in the country's politics.

''People always say that North Korea is like a really communist country, that people are not allowed to go there,'' Rodman told reporters at an airport in Beijing.

''I just know the fact that, you know, to me he's a nice guy, to me.''

''Whatever he does political-wise, that's not my job.

"I'm just an athlete, an individual who wants to go over there and play something for the world. That's it.'

Rodman's latest visit follows the rare public purge of Kim's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was executed in December.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described recent events as a ''reign of terror''.

The purging of Jang, considered the second most powerful man in the North, indicated factionalism within the secretive government.

Wearing sunglasses, a sequin-encrusted cap and a pink scarf, Rodman was asked about his response to critics who said he should not play in the reclusive state.

''Are they going to shoot me? Are they going to shoot me? Come on, man,'' he said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content