News

Dennis Rodman back in N. Korea despite political tension

Dennis Rodman back in N. Korea despite political tension

BACK IN NORTH KOREA: Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks at a news conference in New York Sept. 9. Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer

By James Pearson

SEOUL (Reuters) – Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time on Thursday despite political tension surrounding the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, trip organizers said.

“It’s certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now — a bit of trouble or chaos — there’s even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges,” said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, which has arranged the trip.

Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship.

In a rare admission of factionalism within the North Korean government, Jang Song Thaek was purged and then executed last week – a period South Korean President Park Geun-hye described as a “reign of terror”.

Rodman is expected to provide North Korea’s national basketball team with four days of training. He also intends to return to Pyongyang in January with a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars to hold basketball games on Kim Jong Un’s birthday.

“This being is orchestrated under the guise of sport,” Scott said. “Dennis is going to spend a couple of days training the North Korean team to get them ship shape for the January match.”

(Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Latest Headlines

30 minutes ago in Viral Videos

Realistic Mario

Fresh
Realistic Mario

How would Mario REALLY fare in the Mushroom Kingdom?

yesterday in Music, Sports

Lorde meets Hall of Famer who inspired ‘Royals’

lorde

The singer behind the hit meets the real-life Royal that inspired her song.

yesterday in Viral Videos

Kicked in the head by a train

Kicked By Train

This man tried to take a selfie while a train passed but was a little too close.

yesterday in Viral Videos

Slow motion parkour dog

Parkour Dog

If you thought parkour videos were cool, wait until you see the dog version!

yesterday in Music

AC/DC will ‘rock on;’ Young has ‘debilitating illness’

brianjohnson

The band plans to begin recording in May, but founding member Malcolm Young won't be among them.