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After North Korea, emotional Dennis Rodman urges no politics for a day

By Megha Rajagopalan

(Reuters) - Retired U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman appealed on Monday for the world to set aside politics, if only for a day, as he arrived in China from North Korea where he sparked an outcry with comments over an American imprisoned there.

The 52-year-old angered many people in the United States with an interview last week in which he implied that Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary imprisoned by North Korea, was to blame for his incarceration rather than authorities there.

Rodman, who calls himself a friend of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, apologized for the comments made during his visit to North Korea with a group of fellow U.S. basketball players.

Rodman was met by a throng of media as he made his way, flanked by burly bodyguards, through the airport terminal to a waiting car.

"I want to tell people that no matter what's going on in the world, for one day, just one day, not politics, not all this stuff," he said.

"I'm not the president, I'm not an ambassador, I'm Dennis Rodman, just an individual, just showing the world a fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day."

He then appeared to be overcome with emotion and seemed to start crying as he moved away from the media, repeating "I'm sorry".

Rodman expressed regret over the interview on Thursday in which he implied Bae was to blame for his imprisonment, saying he had been feeling emotional after drinking.

Bae, 45, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for state subversion in North Korea, where he was detained in 2012 while leading a tour group. North Korea's Supreme Court said he used his tourism business to form groups aimed at overthrowing the government.

On Monday, Rodman expressed his thanks to "the Marshal", which is Kim's official title, for enabling his visit.

"It's amazing that I had the opportunity just to go to North Korea, and for the Marshal to give me an opportunity just to be in his presence in the city," he said. "This is not a bad deal."

Rodman had staged a basketball match in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to commemorate Kim's birthday, drawing the ire of human rights activists. He also visited a ski resort in the isolated state.

Rodman led a chorus of North Koreans in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Kim.

The fading basketball star's trips had previously been financed by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, although it has now withdrawn its funding.

Rodman Apologizes for Not Helping US Missionary

Join the discussion

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lidodex January 13 2014 at 6:46 PM

"What an embezzle! What an ultra-maroon! What a ta-ra-ra-goon-de-a!"

--Bugs Bunny

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lukedude27 January 13 2014 at 7:30 PM

Maybe they could work out a deal North Korea gets Dennis Rodman and they give us Mr. Bae back.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
uapptoo January 13 2014 at 7:30 PM

Dennis rot in hell. Why don't you move to North Korea. Your self centered, self serving, and the biggest MORON in the world. Such an ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Flag Reply +3 rate up
atiled January 13 2014 at 7:31 PM

too bad he came back-he's not dangerous-he's a traitor! ask the soldiers who guard the dmz.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
marsh January 13 2014 at 7:39 PM

Well at least now Rodman has left us no doubt to his allegiance, and lack of intelligence

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Midge January 13 2014 at 2:58 PM

I pity Rodman, also wonder if he ever gradutated from high school or college

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
rlpjr2 Midge January 13 2014 at 3:14 PM

Rodman never even went to school are you kidding how could he the man is a mindless moron...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ncdawg71 January 13 2014 at 2:55 PM

<------------- thats all i have to say about rodman and gay world

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Subrosa January 13 2014 at 7:39 PM

Can we not move on. This guy has gotten way too many 15 minutes.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Karl January 13 2014 at 7:45 PM

Dennis Rodman is a black belt master of media manipulation.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
fms1947fff Karl January 13 2014 at 8:05 PM

And a white belt in common sense..

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jamesnstephan January 13 2014 at 7:48 PM

This damn fool needs to go away just like the kardasians.... Enough coverage of this idiot AOL

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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