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 VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

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

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.
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