Dennis Rodman to meet his 'old friend' Kim Jong Un

Jun 13, 2017, 10:47
Dennis Rodman to meet his 'old friend' Kim Jong Un

Rodman was spotted at Beijing International Airport Monday and is expected to land in North Korea Tuesday, two Pyongyang officials told CNN.

The latest developments on Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea (all times local): 12:30 p.m.: Former NBA star Dennis Rodman says he's going to North Korea to try to open a door.

CNN reported the Hall-of-Famer was seen at Beijing International Airport but refused to answer any questions.

CNN's report also says the objective of Rodman's latest North Korea visit is "unclear".

He previously met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un while watching an exhibition match between USA player and North Korean players at Pyongyang's Indoor Stadium in January 2014.

Pinkston, who worked with Rodman on previous trips, said: "In general, I think Dennis is generous and kind-hearted, and he only means well".

Rodman has traveled to North Korea at least four times already, and even organized a basketball tournament for Kim's birthday in 2014.

Tensions between the USA and North Korea have escalated.

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"You are the only American that has ever kept his word and I thank you", Kim said to Rodman according, to his West Point account.

North Korea has fired 16 missiles this year.

Any visit by a high-profile American is a political minefield and Rodman has been criticised for failing to use his influence on leaders who are otherwise isolated diplomatically from the rest of the world.

Madeline Albright, the US Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, brought the older Kim a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan during a visit in 2000.

Rodman knows President Donald Trump personally - he was a contestant on Trump's TV reality program "Celebrity Apprentice" - and endorsed him during the campaign.

A statement issued in NY by a Rodman publicist said the former National Basketball Association player is in the rare position of being friends with the leaders of both North Korea and the United States.

Analyst Daniel Pinkston, a lecturer at Troy University, said he did not believe that Rodman was going as a back-channel emissary from Trump, despite USA media speculation. Trump fired Rodman in both seasons.

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