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Ex-NBA star Rodman in Pyongyang to train basketball team

English.news.cn   2013-12-19 20:50:42            

(File photo)

PYONGYANG, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived here Thursday on his third visit within a year to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Rodman, along with nine delegation members, is here to help train the country's national basketball team for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking the birthday of DPRK's top leader, Kim Jong Un.

The five-day trip was organized by Irish bookmakers Paddy Power. The delegation also planned to shoot footage for a documentary.

"We will talk about the schedule in detail while meeting Rodman in person. A city tour may also be chosen by him," a DPRK Sports Ministry source told Xinhua at the airport.

The source confirmed the ministry would make a detailed plan for the exhibition game between the DPRK basketball team and ex-NBA players.

Foreign correspondents in Pyongyang were not allowed to go into the airport and Rodman left through a guest channel without giving any interviews.

Before boarding an Air Koryo flight in Beijing, Rodman told reporters he hoped to have a "good conversation" with his "friend for life," referring to Kim, whom he described as "an awesome guy" on his first trip in March.

While watching a basketball match with Kim during his second visit to Pyongyang in September, Rodman said he would contribute to boosting diverse sports and cultural exchanges with the DPRK.

Rodman's trip comes one week after the execution of Kim's uncle-in-law, Jang Song Thaek.

Jang, 67, also secretary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea's administration department, was executed on Dec. 12, immediately after a special military tribunal convicted him of treason.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this week Rodman did not represent the U.S. government.

"This has nothing to do with Jang's execution," an official of the Sports Ministry told Xinhua. "I have no idea why the Americans always relate everything to politics, this is only a scheduled friendly sports exchange."

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Video>>Dennis Rodman to visit DPRK on Thursday

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to the DPRK for a third time on Thursday, for the first time since the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek.

The trip organizers said that there’s a need for more cultural and sporting exchanges. Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un. Full story

Video>>Rodman: basketball games between DPRK, US teams in Jan.

BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Former NBA player Dennis Rodman says he will assemble a DPRK basketball team and train it for two games against a US team in January. Rodman made the announcement on Monday following his second visit to the DPRK this year. The game, sponsored by the Irish betting company Paddy Power, will be called the ’Paddy Power Dennis Rodman Invitational’.

Dennis Rodman, Former NBA Player, said, "The first game will be on January 8. That is the marshall, the president’s birthday. We play on his birthday. So that is going to be a historical moment, a historical moment on this birthday. So we’re playing two games, January 8 and 10th." Full story

DPRK top leader meets visiting retired NBA star as "friends"

PYONGYANG, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) watched a basketball match together with visiting retired NBA star Dennis Keith Rodman, and held "cordial" talks during dinner.

Warmly welcoming Dennis Rodman "as a friend in a good season," Kim told Rodman that he might visit the DPRK any time and spend pleasant days, the official news agency KCNA reported early on Saturday, giving no information on whether they talked about the sentenced American Kenneth Bae' s issue. Full story

Retired NBA star in Pyongyang for 2nd visit

PYONGYANG, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Retired NBA star Dennis Keith Rodman arrived here Tuesday for his second visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the invitation of the country's sports authority.

Travelling with him were Michael Peter Spavor, a Canadian non-government organization official, Joseph Douglas Tervillinger, a Columbia University professor, and Christopher Volo, a member of the Prince marketing group. Full story

Editor: Shen Qing
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