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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs