News / USA

Rodman Seems to Blame US Missionary for N. Korean Captivity

Dennis Rodman speaks with fellow U.S. basketball players during a team meeting at a Pyongyang, North Korea hotel, Jan. 7, 2014.
Dennis Rodman speaks with fellow U.S. basketball players during a team meeting at a Pyongyang, North Korea hotel, Jan. 7, 2014.
Reuters
— Dennis Rodman, in a television interview on Tuesday, appeared to blame Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae for his captivity in North Korea, the latest in a series of controversial comments by the former U.S. basketball star.
 
During an expletive-ridden interview with CNN about his fourth trip to the reclusive state, Rodman seemed to say that Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, held in North Korea since May 2013 on charges of crimes against the state, was responsible for his own situation.
 
“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, declining to respond to questions to clarify what he meant.
 
Rodman brought a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to mark leader Kim Jong Un's birthday, which is believed to fall on Wednesday, though this has never been officially confirmed.
 
The games come just weeks after purge and execution of Kim's uncle Jang Song Thaek, who until then was one of the most powerful figures in North Korea. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described recent events in North Korea as a “reign of terror.”
 
Asked about Rodman's comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, “I'm not going to dignify that outburst with a response,” and emphasized that the trip was “private travel” that was not endorsed by the U.S. government.
 
“I'm simply going to say that we remain gravely concerned about Kenneth Bae's health, and continue to urge DPRK authorities to grant his amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds,” Carney said.

U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks at a news conference in New York, Jan. 6, 2014.U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks at a news conference in New York, Jan. 6, 2014.
x
U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks at a news conference in New York, Jan. 6, 2014.
U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks at a news conference in New York, Jan. 6, 2014.
U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, harshly criticized Rodman and the other Americans for what he called an “ill-advised” trip.
 
“As North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un continues to starve and oppress his citizens, it is unthinkable that a few fading celebrities would use such an opportunity to reward his brutal regime,” he said.

Rodman has faced both ridicule and harsh criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some U.S. politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda.
 
But he defended his latest visit in the interview, saying it would help “open the door” to the reclusive state and was a “great idea for the world.”
 
“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.”

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: umbriel from: fort worth tx
January 07, 2014 8:17 PM
The CNN interviewer was so liberal in his criticism of Rodman and the inappropriate questions asked, that he actually may have endangered the lives of Rodman and the other American athletes. Even Rodman tried to explain this to the reporter, saying things like "I am here with 10 other American..." The reporter and his team were so smart they were stupid, as they patted themselves on the back for a good job on the put-down of Rodman. Idiots! Let Rodman do his thing, for all you know he may in the end do more good than just being a friend that likes basketball.

In Response

by: umbriel from: fort worth, tx
January 08, 2014 11:12 AM
Karen, no one has been charged with than in over 200 years, The main premise is proof that someone made verbal or written contact with another government that was in contradiction to US relations with that government. There is no such proof, as any political comments from Rodman are directed to the interviewer not to Kim Jong Un. Rodman only claims to have friendship with Kim because they both like basketball. Also note that Obama has not intervened in asking Rodman to quit his friendship.

In Response

by: Karen
January 08, 2014 7:16 AM
It appears that Rodman is in violation of the Logan Act. See: "Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority:Congressional Research Services (Library of Congress-LOC) http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9143/m1/1/high_res_d/RL33265_2006Feb01.pdf. 2010 version available through LOC.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid