Ex-NBA player Rodman heading to North Korea for a visit

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

The 56-year-old NBA Hall of Famer, who was heavily criticised for failing to raise the plight of a jailed U.S. missionary on a previous trip, said discussing detained USA citizens was "not my objective right now".

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein). Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman gestures to photographers as he prepares to go through immigration at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

The Irish betting website ended its relationship with him in December 2013 as criticism mounted, saying it was responding to "the worldwide scrutiny and condemnation of the North Korean regime in recent weeks". North Korea's Foreign Ministry official.

The drone was believed to have crashed because it ran short of fuel while returning to North Korea. When asked about the American citizens detained in North Korea, he simply said that the imprisoned are "not my objective right now".

In Tokyo, a visiting senior USA official said Rodman is making the trip as a private citizen. He told reporters in Beijing, as he departed for Pyongyang, that he hopes his trip will "open a door" for Trump.

On this trip, he has already been roundly criticized by some for visiting during a time of high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs and recent missile launches.

Otto Frederick Warmbier (C), a University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also confirmed Warmbier's release in a statement.

Rodman is one of few people to have met both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

"We are aware of his visit". Asked if he would talk to North Korean leader Kim J.

The official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no formal statement had been released, said he could not provide further details.

In the past, North Korea has held out until senior US officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees, all the way up to former President Bill Clinton, whose visit in 2009 secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

Ten of the photos were of USA missile launchers and a radar system installed in the southeastern town of Seongju earlier this year, while the rest were mostly of residential areas, agricultural fields and other less-sensitive areas in South Korea, the official said. The trip extends Rodman's surprising relationship with 30-something North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who took power in 2011 but has yet to meet a more high-profile foreigner than the heavily tattooed former National Basketball Association bad boy.

Rodman appeared twice on Trump's pre-presidency "Celebrity Apprentice" show and praised the future president on Twitter during last year's election campaign.

Rodman tweeted Tuesday "I'm back!"

Swedish diplomats, who represent US interests in North Korea because the United States has no diplomatic relations with the country, were denied access to him.

There is an internet urban legend that North Korea is a pothead paradise and maybe even the next Amsterdam of pot tourism.

The U.S. government condemned the sentence and accused North Korea of using such American detainees as political pawns.

The Basketball Hall-of-Famer's trip to North Korea is sponsored by Potcoin, which offers banking services for the legal marijuana industry.

Other reports by VgToday

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