News / Asia

Rodman in North Korea to Train National Basketball Team

Rodman Back in North Korea to Train National Basketball Teami
X
December 20, 2013 4:32 PM
Former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman is in North Korea for his third visit this year, this time to train the nuclear armed nation's basketball players for an upcoming exhibition game. Critics say Rodman, who calls Mr. Kim a friend, is being used for propaganda and publicity. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Seoul.
Daniel Schearf
Former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman is in North Korea for his third visit this year, this time to train the nuclear armed nation's basketball players for an upcoming exhibition game. Critics said Rodman, who calls Kim a friend, is being used for propaganda and publicity.

Rodman said a January exhibition game he is organizing with 12 other American players could help open doors in isolated North Korea.

"This country's pretty cool man, it's pretty cool. I understand what's going on with the political stuff. I'm don't want to go into that venture. I'm just doing one thing for these kids here and for this country and for my country, and for the world pretty much," he said.

His trip comes just a week after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle, the country’s second in command. The political purge raised concerns about stability in North Korea, a gross human rights violator.
 
Arriving in Pyongyang, Rodman said he is not concerned about politics and remains close friends with Kim.
 
As the players prepare for the game to mark Kim’s 31st birthday, the trip’s sponsor, Irish bookmaker “Paddy Power,” is calling the event, “The Big Bang in Pyongyang.”
 
Dan Pinkston is Deputy Director for Northeast Asia at the International Crisis Group. He supports people-to-people exchanges like Rodman's and says the basketball player means well. “He genuinely wants North Korea and the United States to have peaceful relations and they should end the hostility," he stated. "He's not a politician, he's not a public official, he's not a scholar in international relations. But, this is his genuine sentiment.”
 
Rodman has faced criticism for not bringing up human rights issues with Kim Jong Un.  But Pinkston said Rodman's friendship with Kim, while strange, could positively influence the young leader's views of the world and the U.S.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Richard from: NC
December 20, 2013 4:22 PM
He should stay there with his friends.

by: Dave from: Moore
December 20, 2013 3:13 PM
I thought it took State Department permission for an American to travel to countries like North Korea. Rodman has been there three times without suffering any consequences in this country. Am I to assume the US has given permission for his visits?. If so, why is that or why hasn't Rodman been arrested?"

by: Scott Jackman from: California
December 20, 2013 1:15 PM
Rodman isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, although he is definitely a tool. Living in Newport I had the opportunity to witness his stupidity on several occasions. When North Korea loses to the American players on Kim's birthday, Rodman better make sure he isn't there. Otherwise he may be executed himself!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs