Dennis Rodman headed back to North Korea, report says

Stereotypes About Russia Turned Into Fairy Tales

Pyongyang is holding four Americans hostage, and the regime continues to test ballistic missiles, despite repeated warnings from the Trump administration.

A senior U.S. official said the State Department was aware Rodman was planning to travel to North Korea, but stressed he is not there in any official capacity.

It wouldn't be the first time that Rodman has come back from North Korea with a message from Kim Jong-Un. "They've been looking at ways to do that", Pinkston said.

Rodman received the red-carpet treatment on his four past trips since 2013, which generated a lot of publicity - most of it not good - and did little in terms of diplomacy.

"I wish they understood the whole objective of why I went to North Korea", said Rodman. But the claim that marijuana is legal in North Korea is not true.

Dennis Rodman was spotted at Beijing International Airport today, where he was headed to Pyongyang, North Korea, but he declined to comment when spoken to.

As well as counting the North Korean dictator as a friend, Rodman is said to be close to US President Donald Trump.

"We reviewed the project and, with the benefit of hindsight, recognized that we got this one wrong", Paddy Power said at the time.

University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier has been held in North Korea for 15 months, and hasn't even been seen since March previous year, for trying to steal a propaganda poster while on a trip to the state. Bae had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. The other three citizens being held are Tony Kim, Otto Warmbler, and Kim Dong Chul.

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Americans are regarded as enemies in North Korea since the two countries never signed a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. In 2014, several suspected North Korean drones were found south of the border.

He has previously described his visits - including one in 2013 with the Harlem Globetrotters - as "basketball diplomacy" but has been roundly criticised for failing to raise human rights issues or the plight of U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae, who was detained at the time.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (2nd Left) watches a basketball game between former US NBA basketball players and North Korean players of the Hwaebul team of the DPRK with Dennis Rodman (Right) at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium in this undated photo. The trip quickly turned into a debacle, with sponsors dropping some of the players, who went on CNN to try to explain why they were there.

During a visit in 2014, the eccentric five-time National Basketball Association champion sang "Happy Birthday" to Kim Jong Un at a Pyongyang stadium and then walked forward and bowed to the hardline leader.

It came amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, which is now detaining four Americans.

Dennis Rodman is one of few Americans who has met Kim Jong-Un face-to-face.

He was heavily criticised in the U.S. for not bringing up the case of Kenneth Bae, an American imprisoned on charges of "hostile acts" who spent 735 days in North Korean custody before being released later in 2014.

Rodman was a contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" television show twice, once in 2009 and once in 2013. But Trump fired Rodman for spelling his wife Melania's name wrong.

"The fact is, you spelled her name wrong, so Dennis, you lost", Trump said.

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