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North Korea Blunder for Dennis Rodman
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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s dream of “basketball diplomacy” is falling apart, according to CNN. His friendship with North Korea’s young dictator, Kim Jong Un, continues to raise eyebrows. During his fourth trip to play basketball in North Korea, Rodman took a misstep when talking about the Korean-American prisoner, Kenneth Bae. The young prisoner has been serving a sentence of fifteen years hard labor and Rodman bluntly commented, “Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why?” After indicating that Bae clearly must have done something wrong, like encouraging “hostile acts” against the North Korean regime, Bae’s family were outraged. “He was in a position to do some good and to help advocate for Kenneth. He refused to do so,” commented Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, “but then instead he has chosen to hurl these outrageous accusations against Kenneth. He clearly doesn’t know anything about Kenneth, about his case. And so we were appalled by that.”

The United States and the NBA has made it clear that they do not endorse Rodman’s visits to North Korea and the Irish online betting company pulled out of representing the player and his team. As for Bae’s family, Rodman apologized, “I embarrassed a lot of people. I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.” He claimed his outburst was a result of stress.  He stated, “I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed.” Rodman also addressed that some of his teammates were leaving due to the pressure of being involved with North Korea.

  
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Rodman befriended leader Kim Jong Un during a basketball game and sang “Happy Birthday” to him during his most recent visit. Despite setting up the basketball game Rodman only played half the time before deciding to sit it out and smoke cigars with Jong Un. The whole event has been called “bizarre.” As for the fate of Kenneth Bae, the United States government has repeatedly tried to bring him home. He was moved to a hospital after his health had started to decline while in prison and so far there are no plans to release him.

Image Credit: CNN Images

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