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Dennis Rodman back in North Korea this week

(Reuters) - Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time on Thursday despite political tension surrounding the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, trip organizers said.

"It's certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now - a bit of trouble or chaos - there's even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges," said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, which has arranged the trip.

Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship.

In a rare admission of factionalism within the North Korean government, Jang Song Thaek was purged and then executed last week - a period South Korean President Park Geun-hye described as a "reign of terror".

Rodman is expected to provide North Korea's national basketball team with four days of training. He also intends to return to Pyongyang in January with a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars to hold basketball on Kim Jong Un's birthday.

"This being is orchestrated under the guise of sport," Scott said. "Dennis is going to spend a couple of days training the North Korean team to get them ship shape for the January match."

(Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Tracey L. McNeel December 16 2013 at 4:08 PM

I hate dictatorship countries. They should only be understood as a whole that in the 'way' of THE OPPRESSOR...the few at the top who choose to make everyone else very dumb!

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Andrea December 16 2013 at 4:35 PM

He had better watch his back. Kim Jong Un's uncle thought he was best friends with him, too.

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Velocity105 December 16 2013 at 4:35 PM

I want to give AOL a thank you for providing this alternative to Huffpost News, a data-miner and overbearing censor that I want no part of. Good luck Huffpost members who continue to comment on the HP articles, good luck that is in keeping your information private from Huffpost.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
carjerr2 December 16 2013 at 4:36 PM

Do us a favor,stay there.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
tlgentry December 16 2013 at 4:39 PM

TRAITOR! When is our government going to do something about this?

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1 reply
charlie1926b tlgentry December 16 2013 at 4:48 PM

How bouit Jane Fonda they let her off and what she did was a heck of a lot worse

Flag Reply 0 rate up
nightingale11 December 16 2013 at 4:40 PM

I'm amazed that our State Dept will even let him go given the state of things in N. Korea. WHY he would wish to go is also something I cannot understnad. Why would you offer suppor to a repressive and paranoid dictator?

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Janie December 16 2013 at 4:41 PM

I suppose he needs the money and whatever publicity he can get...sad when americans act like this.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
joliemarot December 16 2013 at 4:42 PM

Seems like one of these times he may go over there and never come back. Why take the chance?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
bcp6343 December 16 2013 at 4:47 PM

Uncle Rodman

Flag Reply +1 rate up
cncnl December 16 2013 at 4:50 PM

All Kim Jong Un wants is a lesson in body piercing.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
yellowberry3535 cncnl December 16 2013 at 5:03 PM

i think he got that lesson when he used it to kill his uncle.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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