Dennis Rodman Says He's On 'Mission' To North Korea

Dennis Rodman Says He's On 'Mission' To North Korea

But are the two things connected?

Even so, Rodman endorsed Trump for president in a tweet in 2015, calling him a "great friend for many years".

"The Department of State continues to have discussions with the DPRK regarding three other USA citizens reported detained", the statement said.

He was charged with "hostile acts against the state", and after an hour-long trial in March 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor. He is scheduled to arrive in Cincinnati by Tuesday evening, flying from an American military base in Sapporo, Japan.

The student's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said they were only informed of his condition last week.

The controversial interview drew criticism activists, who said that Rodman was ignorant of North Korean human rights issues.

Thomas Shannon, the USA undersecretary of state for political affairs, told reporters in Tokyo that Rodman was traveling to North Korea as a private citizen. "It seems he visits North Korea regularly because Kim seems to be fond of him". The student was evacuated via a US military base in Sapporo, Japan, the newspaper said.

PotCoin didn't respond to a request seeking further comment.

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.

He told reporters before departing Beijing airport on Tuesday that he is "just trying to open a door" with North Korea.

After arriving in Beijing before heading to Pyongyang, Rodman took to Twitter and thanked PotCoin, a marijuana currency company, for apparently sponsoring his mission to East Asia.

Four Americans are now being detained in North Korea.

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

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon said that the USA was aware of Rodman's visit, and that he is traveling as a private citizen.

His visit comes as tensions have heightened on the Korean peninsula over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests and its vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland.

Flamboyant former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman has travelled to North Korea, apparently for another round of his so-called "basketball diplomacy".

Mr Rodman befriended Kim during his first trip to the North Korea in 2013, when he famously sang Happy Birthday to the tyrant.

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. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the ministry had not issued a formal statement.

Dennis Rodman is taking his "basketball diplomacy" back to North Korea. That would be grounds in North Korea for a subversion charge.

The U.S. government condemned the sentence and accused North Korea of using such American detainees as political pawns.

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman told CNN he was hoping to do "something that's pretty positive", as he prepared to board a plane for a trip to North Korea Tuesday. Rodman also appeared as a contestant on the NBC show "Celebrity Apprentice" that year.

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