Dennis Rodman says 'trying to open door' in North Korea

2017-06-13 10:48
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman prepares to go through immigration at Beijing Capital International Airport in China. (Mark Schiefelbein, AP)

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman prepares to go through immigration at Beijing Capital International Airport in China. (Mark Schiefelbein, AP)

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Beijing - Former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman said on Tuesday that he is "just trying to open a door" by going to North Korea in his first visit to that country since President Donald Trump took office.

Rodman, who has made several trips to the country, sported a black T-shirt advertising a marijuana cyber currency as he headed toward immigration at Beijing airport, from where he is expected to fly to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Asked if he had spoken to US President Donald Trump about his trip, he said: "Well, I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need."

Rodman has received the red-carpet treatment on each of his past visits, but has been roundly criticised for doing so during a time of high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programme.

His entourage included Joseph Terwilliger, a professor who has accompanied Rodman on previous trips to North Korea.

Rodman said the issue of several Americans currently detained by North Korea is "not my purpose right now".

In Tokyo, a visiting senior US official said Rodman's trip is as a private citizen.

"We are aware of his visit. We wish him well, but we have issued travel warnings to Americans suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety," US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon told reporters after discussing the North Korea missile threat and other issues with Japanese counterparts.


Read more on:    donald trump  |  north korea  |  us

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