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Rodman apologises for remarks on US missionary

Retired US basketball star Dennis Rodman has apologised for comments he made about an imprisoned US missionary in North Korea, CNN said on Thursday, quoting a statement.

Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists Credit: REUTERS/Jason Lee

Rodman appeared to suggest in an interview that Kenneth Bae, rather than the North Korean authorities, was responsible for his incarceration.

"I want to apologise, I take full responsibility," Rodman was quoted as saying, adding that he had been drinking on a stressful day.


Rodman sings Happy Birthday to Kim Jong Un

Dennis Rodman led an auditorium of North Koreans in singing "Happy Birthday" to their leader Kim Jong Un.

The celebration comes a day after the former U.S. basketball star sparked controversy by appearing to suggest a Korean-American was to blame for his captivity in the restrictive state.

Rodman brought a team of fellow former NBA stars to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to mark the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un with an exhibition game.

The birthday is believed to have been on Wednesday though that has not been confirmed.

Simon Cockerell, a tour guide who watched the game in Pyongyang, said the audience had stood and cheered Kim for up to six minutes when he appeared with his wife.

Rodman fiery over American jailed in North Korea

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman raised international outrage during his fourth trip to North Korea after he appeared to suggest that Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae was to blame for his captivity in the restrictive country.

Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists. Credit: REUTERS/Jason Lee

"If you understand what Kenneth Bae did ... Do you understand what he did in this country? Why is he held captive in this country?" Mr Rodman said in an interview with CNN, declining to respond to questions to clarify what he meant.

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman is in North Korea with a dozen former NBA colleagues to play an exhibition game. He said he hoped the trip would show people that the secretive state is "not that bad".

Mr Bae's sister, Terri Chung, said her family was "outraged" by his comments. "He is playing games with my brother's life," Chung said in a statement.

Asked about Rodman's comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, "I'm not going to dignify that outburst with a response."

Rodman: Kim Jong-un is my friend and I love him

Dennis Rodman declared his love for the leader of North Korea Kim Jon-un today, according to the AFP news agency.

Asked whether he planned to raise issues of human rights on his trip, he reportedly said:

But I am not going to sit there and go 'Hey guy, you are doing the wrong thing. That is not the right way to do it. He is my friend first ... and I love him.

– dennis rodman


Key quotations from Kim Jong-un's new year address

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has delivered a rare televised address to mark the new year.

On South Korea

It is time to end abuse and slander that is only good for doing harm and anything to hinder reconciliation and unity should not happen anymore. South Korean authorities should stop reckless fratricidal confrontation and fuss about 'North Korean sympathisers' while listening to the voice of people demanding the democratic unification and independence. They should come forward to improve North-South ties.

On military aggression

Dangerous circumstances are being established, which could make a minor military collision spark an all-out-war. If a war breaks out on this land, it will bring a tremendous nuclear disaster. Even the United States will never be safe.

On his executed uncle

Our party took firm measures to get rid of a faction of sewage that permeated the party. Our unity strengthened hundredfold and party and revolutionary lines became much more solid by purging the anti-party and anti-revolutionary faction.

Kim Jong-un celebrates New Year at first ski resort

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed his "great satisfaction" after visiting the country's first ski resort for New Year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan. Credit: Reuters

During the visit he rode on one of the new chair lifts at the luxury Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, in the east of the country.

Kim Jong-un visits a hotel at North Korea's first ski resort. Credit: Reuters

Kim Jong-un, who studied in the Swiss capital Berne and is believed to have enjoyed skiing in the Alps, also looked around a hotel and rental shops at the resort.

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