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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs