News / Asia

Rodman Apologizes for Not Helping US Missionary Imprisoned in North Korea

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman is followed by journalists as he arrives at the Capital International Airport in Beijing from Pyongyang, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman is followed by journalists as he arrives at the Capital International Airport in Beijing from Pyongyang, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.
VOA News
Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman and a squad of retired NBA players have arrived in Beijing after a trip to North Korea to play an exhibition game last Wednesday for the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman told reporters at the Beijing airport on Monday that he was sorry he could not do anything to help free imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae, who was setenced by the North to 15 years of hard labor on a conviction of trying to overthrow the government. He said he is not a diplomat and asked the world to put away politics for one day.

"I want to show people that no matter what's going on in the world, for one day, just one day, not politics, not all this stuff. I'm sorry about all the people that's gone, I'm sorry. I'm not the president, I'm not an ambassador, I'm Dennis Rodman, just an individual, just showing the world a fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day. I'd love to see it, I'd love to see it," Rodman told Reuters, then stopped mid-sentence.... apparently overwhelmed with emotion.

The former NBA star and the team visited the isolated and impoverished country as part of a so-called "basketball diplomacy" trip that has been widely criticized in the U.S. He defended his trip as an effort to "open the door" to North Korea. The former NBA All-Star has said it is not his job to bring up politics with the North Korean leader, who he has referred to as a "good guy" and a "friend for life."

Last week during an interview on an American TV network Rodman unleashed a string of obscenities and implied that Bae was to blame for his own incarceration. He later apologized saying he had been drinking at the time and was stressed out.

State Department and White House officials have stressed that Rodman's trip was unhelpful and not sanctioned by the U.S.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Harry Nair from: Australia
January 13, 2014 3:37 PM
There is nothing apolitical about making a trip to NK.The very fact that it is isolated and reclusive any contact with the north becomes political.Rodman for once should think about helping a fellow American because of his priviliged access to Kim instead of celebrating on the publicity of the visit.If one is priviliged to be in a unique position in this world that privilige brings meaning when good is done.But using such a privilige for personal glory and profit just adds to the perception that Rodman is almost as uncaring as the leader he goes to herald and sing in his honour.

by: Mmoore
January 13, 2014 10:46 AM
Rodman's association with North Korea is perplexing. What is Mr. Kim becomes disenfranchised with Rodman? Thought must be given to the national problem that would cause. Further, Rodman is acting very strange. As if Kim would not put him before a firing squad.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs