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Dennis Rodman back in North Korea

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - 00:16

Sept. 3 - Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman makes his second trip to North Korea this year, saying he isn't in Pyongyang to try to negotiate the release of a jailed American missionary. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday (September 3) for a five-day visit, his second this year and said he had no plans to try to negotiate the release of a jailed American missionary. There had been media speculation that Rodman would try to secure the freedom of Kenneth Bae, who has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of trying to overthrow the Pyongyang government. Rodman's latest trip is being sponsored by an Irish bookmaker and he said en route that he was going to meet his friend Kim and possibly help start a basketball league. Rodman met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his first trip this year, filming a documentary in March, at a time when Pyongyang was threatening the United States, South Korea and Japan with missile strikes. The American then called Kim, who rules unchallenged in a country where there are an estimated 150,000-200,000 prisoners in work camps, "an awesome kid". Kim, 30-years-old and the third of his line to rule North Korea, is a basketball fan and appeared to get on well with Rodman on the earlier visit, when the pair were pictured laughing, eating and drinking together and watching a match. North Korean state-run television KRT on Tuesday showed video of Rodman being welcomed at Pyongyang airport, but did not provide any details of the trip. Last week, North Korea cancelled a planned visit by U.S. special envoy Robert King to try to negotiate Bae's release, blaming annual military exercises involving the United States and South Korea.

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Dennis Rodman back in North Korea

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - 00:16