Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Dennis Rodman Says He's On 'Mission' In New Visit To North Korea

Two Ohio senators are denouncing North Korea after a resident of their state was said to be in a coma after being released from a prison in that country.

If you were like me and woke this morning to the sight of Dennis Rodman wearing a cannabis t-shirt while making another trip to North Korea, don't worry, you were not alone in thinking "What in the hell?"

Rodman talked to reporters briefly before his flight from Beijing to Pyongyang.

The goal of Rodman's visit remains unclear, though it comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program. Rodman also appeared as a contestant on the NBC show "Celebrity Apprentice" that year.

"Anyone who knows Dennis knows he's trying to use his relationship to open the line of communication and send a message of peace and understanding", said Rodman's longtime agent Darren Prince in a statement. "He's smart in many ways, he's very street wise".

The apparent draw between Kim and Rodman is the North Korean leader's fascination with basketball. Rodman made headlines back in 2014 during a Vice-sponsored trip to the reclusive Communist nation and is known to have a personal friendship with leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman played a key role in winning three National Basketball Association titles for them alongside Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman poses with his entourage - Chris Volo (left) and Joe Terwilliger - after arriving at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport in North Korea on Tuesday for Rodman's first visit to North Korea since President Trump took office.

The young Kim, who was educated in Switzerland, is reported to be a keen basketball fan and especially of the Chicago Bulls.

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Rodman said the issue of several Americans currently detained by North Korea was "not my goal right now". The unlikely pair ended the evening with drinks and dining on sushi.

There are still three US citizens held in North Korean jails: Kim Sang-Duk, a Korean-American university professor; Kim Dong-Chul, a naturalized American citizen and businessman charged with espionage; and Kim Hak-Song, a Christian missionary and school professor.

Rodman added in the tweet that he would "discuss my mission upon my return to the U.S.".

He told reporters at Beijing airport Tuesday that he believes President Donald Trump is happy with his visit "to accomplish something we both need".

North Korea has imprisoned numerous Americans over the years, often sentencing them to lengthy terms in prison that have rarely, if ever, been served out.

Warmbier was on a New Year's Eve tour in North Korea, en route to Hong Kong, where he was to do a January study-abroad trip.

It was previously reported that the country is also holding four Americans for various alleged crimes.

State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson said in a statement that Warmbier's release had been secured at the direction of President Donald Trump.

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