What Is Dennis Rodman Doing In North Korea?

North Korea is expecting another visit by former National Basketball Association bad boy Rodman on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in what would be his first to the country since President Donald Trump took office.

University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who has been detained in North Korea for 17 months, has been medically evacuated from the country in a coma, his parents told The Washington Post Tuesday.

When imprisoned American Kenneth Bae was released in 2014 after spending 735 days in a North Korean jail, he thanked Rodman for helping bring his case to light.

Mr Rodman is one of few people to have met both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

Rodman also traveled to North Korea in 2014, leading a delegation of former NBA players on what he called a "basketball diplomacy" mission.

It is not clear whether Rodman, who once dated Madonna and was married to model and actress Carmen Electra, will be meeting Kim Jong-Un during the current trip or what its exact goal is.

When Rodman returned home, he faced heavy criticism after video surfaced of him singing "Happy Birthday" to leader Kim Jong-un.

We'll give him this, though.

Rodman was sacked from Trump's Celebrity Apprentice show in 2013 after misspelling the now first lady Melania Trump's name.

Rodman played for the Pistons from 1986-93. The former N.B.A. star has been one of the United States' most unlikely links to North Korea. Thousands of US 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. Tillerson said the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.

But nearly parallel to the moment Rodman landed in Pyongyang, Warmbier was released to US custody Tuesday.

Analyst Daniel Pinkston, a lecturer at Troy University, said he did not believe that Rodman was going as a back-channel emissary from Trump despite USA media speculation.

A White House official says the May meeting in Oslo was attended by Joseph Yun, the US envoy to North Korea.

The State Department said Rodman is making the trip as a private citizen, not as an official delegate from the U.S. In May the State Department elevated its travel advisory to North Korea, strongly warning that U.S. citizens not visit the country because of the risk of arrest and long-term detention.

Rodman is being accompanied by a small entourage: his agent, Chris Volo, and Joe Terwilliger, a geneticist who has taught in Pyongyang and who has said he serves as Rodman's translator. But the visit seemed to do more harm than good for Rodman's reputation.

Cindy and Fred Warmbier denounced North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, and his regime.

North Korean authorities claim that they have security footage of Otto trying to steal a banner containing a political slogan that was hanging from the walls of his Pyongyang hotel, according to CNN.

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