AFRICANGLOBE – Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has returned to the secretive Far-Eastern nation of North Korea to discuss ‘some things that’s going to help the world’ with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.
Rodman, 52, is a good pal of Kim’s and is in the final stages of planning the Paddy Power Dennis Rodman Invitational which takes place in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, on the son of Kim Jong-il’s birthday, January 8.
He flew in this morning to train the North Korean men’s basketball team, who he also hopes to coach to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
However, his visit is to a backdrop of problems in North Korea, where Kim’s uncle was recently executed in a dramatic political purge and commentators believe the secretive state is in the midst of its most serious political upheaval in decades.
Asked about the execution, Rodman added that had nothing to do with his visit. He said he wasn’t worried about his personal safety in the North, despite the recent detentions of two Americans there, one of whom, Kenneth Bae, has been held for more than two years.
Rodman and Kim have struck up an unlikely friendship since the Hall of Famer travelled to North Korea for the first time in February with the Harlem Globetrotters for a show on American television.
He remains the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
He plans to return to North Korea in two weeks with a roster of 12 American basketball players but offered no names.
‘I hope this game brings a lot of countries together, because as I said, sports it is so important to people around the world,’ Rodman said.
‘So I hope this is going to engage American people, especially [President Barack] Obama, to just to try to talk to them.’
By: Matthew Nash