Dennis Rodman defends North Korea trip for Kim Jong Un's birthday celebrations in bizarre TV meltdown

Speaking to CNN from Pyongyang, Rodman said his visit to North Korea for Kim Jong Un's birthday was a "great idea for the world"

Basketball star Dennis Rodman has angrily defended his controversial trip to North Korea in a bizarre television interview.

Speaking to CNN from Pyongyang, Rodman said his visit to the isolated country for Kim Jong Un's birthday was a "great idea for the world".

Rodman is in North Korea with a team of retired NBA players who will play a friendly game against the communist state for the dictator's birthday, who is believed to turn 31 tomorrow.

"One day, one day this door is going to open because of these 10 guys here," Rodman told CNN's Chris Cuomo while holding a cigar.

However, when asked if he would use his influence on "friend for life" Kim to help Kenneth Bae, an American citizen serving a prison sentence in a North Korean labour camp, the basketball player appeared to lose his temper.

"The one thing about politics...Kenneth Bae did one thing ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? Why he is held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this.

"You know, you've got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, they've left their families, they've left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture. That's 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that?"

"I don't a sh**t, I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them. They dared to do one thing, they came here."

Dennis Rodman: 'I love Kim Jong Un'

Former NBA player Charles Smith tried to calm him down, insisting that the game is about friendship, not politics. But Rodman continued his rant, becoming increasingly angry at Cuomo.

"Let me do this. Really? Really? I want to tell you one thing. You're the guy behind the mic right now. We're the guys here doing one thing.

"We have to go back to America and take the abuse. Do you have to take the abuse that we're gonna take? Do you sir, are you going to take the abuse?

"One day, one day, this door is going to open because these 10 guys here, all of us, Christie, Vin, Dennis, Charles, ... I mean everybody here, if we could open the door just a little bit for people to come here and do one thing."

Rodman's visit to North Korea comes just weeks after Kim's once-powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek was executed for "acts of treachery".

In his annual New Year’s Day address, the dictator said the “resolute” action to “ eliminate factionalist filth” within the ruling Workers' Party had bolstered the country's unity “by 100 times”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there