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Dennis Rodman in North Korea: a timeline of events

Photo: CNN via MGN Online
Photo: CNN via MGN Online
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WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for his fifth visit in four years.

The Hall of Famer is traveling to the Communist country through a sponsorship by, a banking company that works in the cannabis industry.

Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince said the athlete is visiting for diplomatic purposes.

“Anyone who knows Dennis knows he’s trying to use his relationship to open the line of communication and send a message of peace and understanding,” Prince said.

Here is a timeline of Rodman’s past visits to the country:

February 26, 2013 - Rodman met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time. It is believed to be the first time the leader met Americans in an official capacity. Rodman went to North Korea alongside a Vice documentary film crew and three Harlem Globetrotters. Their purpose was to participate in what they termed basketball diplomacy. A television special chronicling their journey debuted in April on HBO.

May 7, 2013 - Rodman criticized his friend Jong-un in a tweet addressing Kenneth Bae’s capture by North Korea. A Seattle Times story by Thanh Tan asked Rodman to help get Bae released. The basketball great said “Ok” and decided to help after reading the story.

May 8, 2013 - Rodman tweets asking Kim Jong Un to release Bae and “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose."

September 3, 2013 - Rodman lands in North Korea. The former NBA player said he does not want to be a diplomat but hopes to spend his time in the country hanging out with the leader and bridging cultural gaps. He was greeted at the airport by the chairman of North Korea’s vice-chairman of the Olympic Committee.

September 9, 2013 - Rodman reveals the name of North Korean leader’s daughter. Rodman said he was planning a big announcement following his upcoming trip to Pyongyang. Rodman also professed his affection for the supreme leader.

December 19, 2013 - Rodman travels once again to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un. Rodman works on a program to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for a exhibition game on January 8.

January 6, 2014 - Rodman arrives for a basketball game he planned for Kim Jong Un’s birthday.

January 7, 2014 - Rodman alongside other former NBA players were involved in a testy interview with CNN as they discussed their North Korea trip. Rodman was asked about Kenneth Bae and implied that Bae was at fault for being imprisoned.

January 8, 2014 - Rodman sings “Happy Birthday” to Kim Jong Un. Rodman dedicates the basketball game to his “best friend.” Nearly 14,000 people attended the game with former NBA players including Charles D. Smith, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges, Doug Christie, Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson.

January 9, 2014 - Dennis Rodman apologizes for comments he made while in North Korea about a missionary Kenneth Bae who was detained by North Korea. He blamed the comments on being under pressure and drinking. Rodman had implied that that Bae’s imprisonment was his own fault. "I want to apologize," Rodman said Thursday.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It's not an excuse, it's just the truth."

January 18, 2014 - Rodman checks into a rehab facility following his trip from North Korea. Darren Prince, Rodman’s agent said, "Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination 'super human' political figure and 'fixer' got the better of him. He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused."

November 8, 2014 - Kenneth Bae is released from North Korea

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June 12, 2017- Rodman is back in Pyongyang for the first time in three years. He told the press he is "just trying to open a door." When asked what President Trump would think of his trip, Rodman replied “I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need." Rodman said working to free several American’s currently detained in North Korea was not a purpose of his during this trip.

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