January 8, 2014 |
It's difficult to imagine a more ludicrous attempt at diplomacy than former basketball star Dennis Rodman's current sojourn to North Korea. On his past trips (this is his fourth in less than a year) Rodman has referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as his “friend for life” and spent time with Kim's family, calling him a “good dad” - as if the young dictator were just another misunderstood world leader and not the tyrannical ruler of an impoverished country who is capable of ordering his uncle's execution.
January 8, 2014 |
BEIJING - Dennis Rodman helped Kim Jong Un mark his 31st birthday Wednesday with sport and song, serenading the North Korean dictator with a warbly rendition of “Happy Birthday” in a Pyongyang gymnasium and then leading fellow ex-NBA players in a game against a local squad. Spectators were not allowed to bring cameras into the modestly appointed arena, but video posted later online showed Rodman in sunglasses leading the crowd - many of them in sport coats and dress shirts - in a singing tribute to “The Marshal.” Then the Americans, in blue and white uniforms, faced off against the North Koreans, or the “Torch Team,” in red. Simon Cockerell, a tour guide with Beijing-based Koryo tours who is traveling with Rodman's group, described the event as a “bizarre and unusual occasion.” In a video dispatch from Pyongyang posted to Koryo's Facebook page, he said the teams played two 10-minute halves, with the North Koreans prevailing at the final buzzer (by a score of 47-39, according to Associated Press)
January 7, 2014 |
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, better known now for bizarre behavior than anything he ever did on the court, launched into an unintelligible rant against a CNN anchor on Tuesday during an interview from North Korea, where he is on his fourth visit in less than a year. Rodman, 52, brought six fellow retired professional basketball players to the rogue country for a game against the North Korean national team Wednesday, the 31st birthday of dictator Kim Jong Un. The trip has drawn reproving statements from the National Basketball Assn.
December 19, 2013 |
SEOUL -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to help train the country's national basketball team and prepare an exhibition game celebrating leader Kim Jong Un's birthday. Rodman's trip, his third this year to the reclusive nation, comes just a week after North Korea announced the execution of Kim's uncle by marriage, Jang Song Taek. The dramatic purge of a man believed to have been a mentor to the young Kim and his second-in-command raised questions about the stability of the North Korean regime.
December 6, 2013 |
BEIJING - Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old war veteran from Palo Alto who was arrested in October on suspicion of committing hostile acts against North Korea, was released from Pyongyang and on his way home Saturday. Newman, a retired tech executive, had been pulled off an airplane about to leave the capital on Oct. 26 at the end of a 10-day tour, after speaking to his North Korean guides about his service in a clandestine anti-communist army unit during the 1950-53 Korean War. "I'm very glad to be on my way home," Newman was quoted by Japanese media as saying at the Beijing airport.
November 29, 2013 |
BEIJING -- North Korea said Saturday the 85-year-old Korean War veteran from Palo Alto it detained last month was held because of “hostile acts” against the Communist regime during the war and during his 10-day trip as a tourist. Pyongyang's official news agency also published what it said was a letter of apology from the retiree, Merrill Newman, and added that the North Koreans had accepted his apology -- implying that he might soon be released. The statements said Newman had directed anti-Communist guerrillas during the 1950-53 war and had asked his North Korean guides during his October trip for help getting in touch with any survivors or their families still living in North Korea.