- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Former Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman visited North Korea again last week, this time to help get a basketball team prepared for an exhibition game against NBA veterans. Although he has become close friends with the isolated country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, Rodman did not meet with him during this trip.
Rodman first went to North Korea in February with members of the Harlem Globetrotters and a documentary film crew. During that trip, they became friends and he went back in September. Rodman even reportedly revealed that Kim is a father.
The latest trip came after Kim executed his uncle and erased him from history. That caused many in the international community to wonder just what is happening in North Korea, but any clarity on the situation was not going to come from Rodman.
According to CNN, Rodman went there just to train players, who he said “are awesome.” They are expected to play the game on Jan. 8, Kim’s birthday. There’s still no word on which former NBA players signed on to play the North Korean team.
The Associated Press reports that when Rodman arrived in Beijing on his way back to the U.S., he declined to respond to questions about meeting Kim during this trip. He did tell CNN that he is certain he will meet with Kim again. “I will be coming back in another week,” Rodman said.
Paddy Power, an online gambling company, sponsored Rodman’s trip. The former basketball player has been slammed for going to North Korea during a politically tense time, but he has said these trips are nonpolitical. He is still the highest profile American to ever meet the new North Korean leader.