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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

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rdavis327 January 14 2014 at 3:48 PM

There are some people in the world who truly believe they can make a difference without politics. Rodman just learned another tough lesson about the price of fame vs. infamy. People of all races make mistakes in judgement, lie, steal and embarrass us and we like to believe we can be forgiven for it and move on. Here's the point-our country grooms its citizens with rhetoric that we can fix the world, police the world and save the world from tyranny through democracy, but we forget that democracy is a two edged sword and the wrong side may be the majority. I believe Denis believes he can make a difference however warped it may seem to the rest of us. Denis Rodman has been trying to find his place in the world for a long time- long before basketball existed. I see all of you piling up on him, his race, his shallow reasoning. Your comments are nasty and ugly. You're piling on the man's entire race for his lack of judgement-completely wrong in my view. But do we really know that his fumbling effort won't make a difference in releasing Bae?
We should be careful how we criticize beliefs we helped to foster. We are still in a war because we thought we could fix nations who hate us-Denis just has a different look. Don't feed into the frenzy...time will reveal all.

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patrick58k January 14 2014 at 9:25 AM

just took a big SH!T now, and saw Rodman swimming around in the bowl! He is at home now! Dear Leader was next to him....lol..

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hareglsl January 14 2014 at 12:20 PM

Not to mention the other 10 pieces of crap that went to N. Korea with him.....

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saulucy20 January 14 2014 at 6:30 AM

What was the composition of the people that went to see the game? Caucasian? African?Was it free attendance?Or by invitation only?

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matt January 14 2014 at 4:56 AM

better yet strap him to the tip of a tomahawk then fire it into kim jong retard's bed room window while he sleeps. sounds like the perfect communist birthday party to me. Then maybe people will think twice about there actions. like singing happy birthday to a man that is testing rockets so he can LAUNCH A NUCLEAR BOMB INTO YOUR BACK YARD!!!! i swear if it wasn't for people like rodman there wouldn't be any favor in this world.

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pbjclv January 14 2014 at 4:48 AM

Dennis proves that "You can't fix stupid."

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brighttom January 14 2014 at 4:44 AM

That's what happens when you detox, you get emotional !!!

-- he implied that Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary imprisoned by North Korea, was to blame for his incarceration rather than authorities there.--

And he forgot one thing......blacks are to blame for their incarceration also !!!!

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Deborah January 14 2014 at 4:19 AM

H;es having a meltdown from all the drugs and alcohol. He should be banned from opening his stupid drug addicted mouth

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patrick58k January 14 2014 at 7:38 AM

Thank You! Absolutely CORRECT! You Nailed it!!!

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markkarson January 14 2014 at 9:29 AM

yeahh miss deborah .... ban all who dont fit you stupid american patriotic mouth!

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G January 14 2014 at 12:03 PM

Yea!!!! It appears Rodman has ONE fan here. Do us all a favor and go to NK with him. Yes, I too have a stupid american patriotic mouth while YOU must be a communist idiot. By the way.....learn proper grammer usage. It'll help make you appear smarter then you probably are.

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drescapement January 14 2014 at 4:20 PM

So, explain just how you think that what Rodman did is acceptable. I doubt you would be defending him if he had sucked up to a right-wing racist like P. W. Botha, the former Apartheid leader of South Africa, for instance. But since the communist Kim and his family have indiscriminately oppressed, murdered, and starved many thousands, if not millions of his own countrymen, (without regard for race, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation), you apparently have no problem with Kim or Rodman. Even worse, you seem to feel compelled to defend the little monster, and his sycophant. Why are you liberals so drawn to tyranny evil, and equally repulsed by freedom and human decency? If you think it's a matter of patriotism, you've completely missed the point. It's a matter of right and wrong, a concept which is beyond your morally relativistic comprehension. You fixate on "patriotism" because for liberals like you, patriotism and respect for the individual are bad. That's really sick and messed up. You type proves that radical liberalism really is a mental disorder. Maybe living in North Korea for a while would help set your mind straight. But, then again, maybe not.

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matt January 14 2014 at 4:13 AM

are you serious? hanging out with someone that is threatening to nuke your own country. try his dumb @$$ for treason. tired of people acting like they have the right to be complete idiots just because they survived berth.

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alexandradenman January 14 2014 at 4:07 AM

Rodman's behavior was disgusting and unAmerican. North Korea is basically an abusive prison camp for all of its citizens - not a country. I am very relieved that Mr. Rodman had the good sense and courage to apologize for his unbelievably stupid decision to visit North Korea, a sworn enemy of the United States.

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3 replies to alexandradenman's comment
ddostoevsky January 14 2014 at 3:48 AM

The North Korean government is probably right, Bae probably was involved in subversive groups, subversive to their government. However, Rodman is not allowed to say this by OUR controlling media. Rodman is ridiculed. See Noam Chomsky's book, "Manufacturing Consent." I find it interesting that today two California police officers were acquitted of beating and killing a homeless man. In America, this beating and killing is OK, but if North Korea puts a man in prison for seditious activities, then North Korea is EVIL. The hypocrisy of the West.

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rednelos January 14 2014 at 4:05 AM

Now I understand how Obama got elected a second time. Peopled with an IQ matching an embecile follow him like puppy dogs. Dogs I can understand. They aren't blessed with the ability to reason like humans. Go spend some time in a North Korean prison as a caucasion. I think you might come out with a different outlook. However, an embecile like yourself probably would enjoy being beaten 3 times a day and eating dog meat soup licking it like a dog. How red is your neck?

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patrick58k January 14 2014 at 7:43 AM

MY..aren't YOU the little Communist PIG! Just move to North Korea you Russian PIG! Get OUT of MY COUNTRY, A-HOLE!!! I didn't serve in the Military, to defend illegal aliens like you!

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markkarson January 14 2014 at 9:36 AM

it is not your country!!! OKAY? where is 2 million native american Indians?????? Right little boy they all is die! You always live with this blood!

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drescapement January 14 2014 at 4:57 PM

This is actually a reply to Markkarson's remark. (It won't let me reply directly to him). He said: it is not your country!!! OKAY? where is 2 million native american Indians?????? Right little boy they all is die! You always live with this blood!

Okay, first of all, I never killed or otherwise harmed a Native American, so I have no blood on my hands, and hence have no guilt at all. Second, being part Native American, I don't bear any animosity toward my Non-Native-American countrymen whose ancestors oppressed mine (They've done no harm to me). What happened 100 years ago is only of historical significance to me, (I've moved on). Third, would you kick my ass out of the United States? If so, since I'm partly Native American, you can't kick all of me out, so tell me which part of me gets to stay; maybe an arm, or something? The only thing more annoying than an idiot is someone like you who is so profoundly stupid that he can't grasp his own idiocy. Your concern with the plight of the Native American seems a bit misplaced. I suggest that you involve yourself with something more relevant to you, like the welfare of the mentally handicapped. People may suspect you're an idiot, but when you open your mouth, you remove all doubt. So, if you have any self respect, you should take some friendly advice, and shut the hell up. No, on second thought, keep running your mouth. It's like watching an idiot with a chainsaw.

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