Rodman’s N. Korea trip off to uncharacteristic low-key start

first_imgThree other Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Rodman watched a women’s basketball team practice at a gym Wednesday and visited the birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader. He refused to answer questions about his trip, saying only, “A little hot, baby, it’s a little hot. But it’s cool, it’s cool.”READ: North Korea expecting visit from Dennis RodmanFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWhat, if anything, substantive Rodman is doing in North Korea remains unclear. He has said he is just going to have a good time but has also hinted he is “trying to open a door” for better relations between Washington and Pyongyang.He is scheduled to meet the sports minister, visit a newly built high-tech science complex and the Pyongyang Zoo, and go bowling before he leaves Saturday. Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, center right, talks to North Korea’s Pothonggang womens basketball team during his visit to Chongjong Street basketball gymnasium on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman began sightseeing in Pyongyang on Wednesday during a trip he said he hoped would “open a door” for his former “Celebrity Apprentice” boss, President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far. On the agenda? Bowling and a visit to the zoo.There is no clear sign that the former NBA bad boy will meet leader Kim Jong Un, as he did on previous visits to the isolated country. Such a meeting, though, typically wouldn’t be announced in advance.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage What ‘missteps’? Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Dodgers’ Puig makes obscene gesture at Cleveland fans Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES His four past trips in 2013 and 2014 generated a storm of publicity, most of it unfavorable, and did little in terms of diplomacy. Critics of engagement with North Korea say Rodman’s visits legitimize the country’s ruling regime.READ: Dennis Rodman returns to North Korea hoping to open the door In 2014, Rodman arranged a basketball game with other former NBA players and North Koreans and regaled leader Kim with a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.Americans are regarded as enemies in North Korea because the two countries never signed a peace treaty at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Thousands of U.S. troops are based in South Korea, and the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.U.S and North Korean officials say Rodman had nothing to do with the release of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been serving a 15-year sentence in a North Korean prison for alleged anti-state acts. A plane carrying Warmbier arrived late Tuesday at an airport in Cincinnati.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img