News / Asia

Rodman Back in N. Korea for 'Basketball Diplomacy' Trip

Dennis Rodman Arrives in North Koreai
X
September 03, 2013 11:13 AM
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman speaks to reports after arriving in North Korea, Sept. 3, 2013.

Video Clip: Dennis Rodman Arrives in North Korea, speaks to reporters

VOA News
Retired U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman is in North Korea for the second time this year but is refusing to say whether the release of an imprisoned Korean-American is on his agenda.
 
Before flying to Pyongyang Tuesday, Rodman told reporters at the Beijing airport he hopes to meet again with his "friend," North Korea's authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, during his so-called basketball diplomacy tour.
 
"I want to try to keep the communication going, as far as like, I just want to go over there to meet my friend Kim, the marshall, and try to, you know, start a new basketball league, stuff like that."
 
The flamboyant Rodman held a rare face-to-face meeting with Kim in Pyongyang in February. During that trip, Rodman called the authoritarian leader his "friend for life."
 
Last week, Rodman told The Huffington Post that he would "definitely" use his latest visit to ask Kim for the release of ailing Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who is serving 15 years of hard labor in the North.
 
But on Tuesday, Rodman refused to answer questions on Bae, saying he is "not going to talk about that." The 52-year-old Hall of Fame player said he has not been promised anything on Bae's release, but was simply going to the North as a "friendly gesture."

Rodman's visit comes after North Korea withdrew an invitation for a senior U.S. envoy because of U.S.-South Korean military drills that took place last month.
 
U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Human Rights Issues Robert King was due to travel to Pyongyang Friday to request that Bae be freed on humanitarian grounds.
 
Bae's mother, Myunghee Bae, told VOA's Korean service that she is disappointed the trip was canceled and that everything seems unclear at this moment. She added that she hopes her son can be released through the resumption of dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea.
 
Leonid Petrov, a Korea analyst at the Australian National University, said Rodman's visit may be Bae's best hope for a quick release.
 
"There would at least be some logic in what North Korea is doing," he said. "They're trying to channel the diplomacy from high-level State Department [interaction] into people-to-people diplomacy."
 
Bae is a 44-year-old Christian missionary who was arrested after entering North Korea as a tour operator in November. He was convicted of trying to topple North Korea's government. His family says his health is quickly deteriorating.
 
North Korea has detained at least six Americans since 2009. All have been allowed to return home before serving their full sentences. Most were released following visits by prominent Americans, including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

  • Dennis Rodman arrives for a news conference in New York, Sept. 9, 2013.
  • Dennis Rodman gestures as he reacts to a question about American citizen Kenneth Bae who remains imprisoned in North Korea, at Beijing Capital International Airport, Sept. 7, 2013.
  • Dennis Rodman shows pictures he took with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the media upon arrival in Beijing, in this combination picture of frames shot Sept. 7, 2013.
  • Former basketball star Dennis Rodman talks to media as he transits to Pyongyang from Beijing Capital International Airport, Sept. 3, 2013.
  • Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea Sept. 3, 2013 for a five-day visit, his second this year, but said he had no plans to negotiate the release of a jailed American missionary. 
  • Dennis Rodman arrives at Pyongyang's airport, Sept. 3, 2013.
  • Dennis Rodman is seen after his arrival at Pyongyang airport in this photo taken by Kyodo, Sept. 3, 2013. 
  • Dennis Rodman gestures as he arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport for transit to Pyongyang, Sept. 3, 2013. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid