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
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: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003