NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman told CNN he was hoping to do “something that’s pretty positive,” before he boarded a plane bound for North Korea.
The eccentric former basketball player arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday afternoon for an anticipated four-night visit. The trip comes at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Pyongyang.
Four Americans are currently being detained in North Korea. When asked if he planned to raise their detention with North Korean officials, Rodman said: “Well that’s not my purpose right now… My purpose is to go over there and try to see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea.”
Rodman, a former contestant on Donald Trump’s pre-presidency reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice, “is one of the few Americans to have met current North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodman promoted his past visits as a form of informal “basketball diplomacy,” using sports and as a way to bridge divides, said Daniel Pinkston, a professor of International Relations at Troy University in Seoul.