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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face 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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs