Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Former NBA Hall of Famer Heading Back to North Korea

Former NBA Hall of Famer Heading Back to North Korea

Not only is there the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles shadowing nearly all of Southeast Asia, the reclusive country is now detaining four American citizens on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the regime.

North Korea has touted its drone program in recent years, and South Korean officials believe its military has about 300 drones.

The bombastic player - who once wore a wedding dress to promote one of his books - also knows US President Donald Trump, having appeared as a contestant on Trump's pre-presidency reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice". "I want to thank the folks at PotCoin... they realized the importance of this trip and made it all possible for me". "We wish him well, but we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety", U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon told reporters after discussing the North Korean missile threat and other issues with Japanese counterparts. He also described Kim as "a friend for life" after visiting North Korea in 2013, and has drawn criticism for his public appearances alongside the dictator.

In July, 2013, Rodman told Sports Illustrated: "My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries".

This is Rodman's first visit under President Trump's administration - but there is no evidence that Trump is aware of his travel.

Rodman was filmed leading a sing-along of "Happy Birthday" to the leader, a man he calls a friend and a "very good guy".

The young Kim, who was educated in Switzerland, is reported to be a keen basketball fan and especially of the Chicago Bulls, for whom Rodman played a key role in winning three NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan in the 1990s. Since then, he has traveled to the country four times, according to his publicist.

As details of his trip remained elusive, people wondered whether Rodman's visit in North Korea was a unique opportunity for America to negotiate peace in the region or even broker a deal to release four Americans now detained there.

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North Korea is expecting another visit by former National Basketball Association bad boy Dennis Rodman.

Rodman has referred to his trips to the reclusive communist country as "basketball diplomacy".

A FORMER NBA star has struck up an unexpected friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Surrounded by media at Beijing airport, Rodman didn't respond to CNN's questions about whether he would be meeting Kim during this trip, and wouldn't say if he was delivering a message from the US President to Pyongyang.

Rodman later apologized for the comments he made on Bae, who was released in November that year.

It is not clear if the Rodman trip is part of that effort or not.

The visit, the objective of which remained unclear, would be Rodman's latest to the nuclear-armed nation.

His agent, Darren Prince, said Rodman had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized the Pyongyang exhibition game. North Korea called the system a provocation that it says is aimed at bolstering US military hegemony in the region.

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