Dennis Rodman returned from his controversial visit with North Korea's reclusive dictator Kim Jong Un on Monday, and swiftly defended his latest round of "basketball diplomacy" there. Dennis left Pyongyang amid criticism for not helping imprisoned Korean American missionary Kenneth Bae, telling reporters at Beijing airport, "I'm sorry that I couldn't do anything", according to USA Today on Jan. 13.
Meanwhile, Dennis also announced that he plans to make his fifth visit to his "friend for life" Kim Jong Un for another game of basketball next month.
During this visit, the former NBA star played an exhibition game last Wednesday between a North Korean team and a Rodman-led team of other ex-NBA players.
The former Chicago Bulls forward even sang "Happy Birthday" to Kim before the tip-off, and then spent the second half sitting beside him.
Dennis Rodman's self-proclaimed goodwill trip to the autocratic country ran afoul last week, when he lost control while being quizzed by CNN's Chris Cuomo over the Kenneth Bae issue.
Rodman later apologized, blaming his on-air rantings on alcohol. But human rights groups and U.S. politicians have criticized Dennis for engaging with North Korea's repressive regime.
Bae, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp by North Korea last year on charges he intended to overthrow the government. Similar assertions recently led Kim Jong Un to execute his own uncle.
Deflecting increasing criticism for his actions, including boxing champ Mike Tyson claiming Rodman committed treason, he reiterated that he's neither the President nor an ambassador.
Dennis told reporters he just wants everyone to get along. He called his foray into the North a good idea for the world, exclaiming that he's done nothing wrong.
Some observers have said Rodman's actions may be a good idea, offering North Koreans a more positive view of westerners, who are typically painted as demonic in the media.
Others take issue with Dennis cavorting with the leader of a country well known for its human rights abuses and utter brutality.
"It is amazing that I had the opportunity just to go to North Korea, and for the Marshal to give me the opportunity just to be in his presence, in the city", Rodman said Monday.
What do you think, good idea for the world or just more PR for a former athlete?