|Former American basketball star Dennis Rodman and his fellow players take training for an exhibition game against the DPRK team on January 8, 2014. (Xinhua/AP Photo)
PYONGYANG, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman celebrated the birthday of Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), here Wednesday by taking part in a friendship basketball game, spectators said.
Before the match, Rodman said that, despite some people doubting the purpose of his visit, he simply came to celebrate his good friend's birthday. He also said he did feel the love and enthusiasm the DPRK people have for their leader.
He then sang "Happy Birthday to You" in front of Kim, creating a buzz among the audience.
Rodman arrived here on Monday along with a team of retired National Basketball Association (NBA) players and streetballers for the exhibition game to mark Kim's birthday. This was his fourth DPRK trip within 12 months.
The first half of the game, with former NBA stars in blue against DPRK basketball players in red, ended 39-47. Rodman played in the first quarter. He then changed clothes and joined Kim on the stadium platform, chatting and smoking together.
The second half was played between a white and a green team, each with mixed players, and it ended 63-54. DPRK Sports Minister Kang Chong Mu and Rodman respectively presented trophies and souvenir medals to the teams and players.
Rodman had met Kim three times. During his first trip to the country, in February 2013, he described Kim as "an awesome guy." During the second, in September, he referred to Kim as his "friend for life."
But he failed to meet Kim when he visited the DPRK in December to help train the country's national basketball team.
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Former American basketball star Dennis Rodman on Tuesday defended his contentious trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying it was a "great idea for the world."
Talking to CNN in an interview from Pyongyang, Rodman reacted belligerently to questions about the trip to DPRK with a group of retired National Basketball Association (NBA) players, claiming it could help "open the door" to the Asian nation.Full story
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Former NBA star Rodman visits DPRK for Kim birthday match
PYONGYANG, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) star Dennis Rodman has arrived here for his fourth trip within a year to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Rodman, along with a team of retired professional basketball players, is reportedly in the capital for an exhibition game on Wednesday to mark the birthday of DPRK's top leader, Kim Jong Un. Full story