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Rodman Back in N. Korea to 'Have Some Fun'

Will spend 4 days training basketball team
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 8:19 AM CST
Rodman Back in N. Korea to 'Have Some Fun'
Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman and his entourage arrive at the international airport in Pyongyang, North Korea on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

(Newser) – Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for his third visit, and this time he has a documentary crew along for the ride. The least influential person of 2013 will spend four days training the country's national basketball team, which is due to play a team of unannounced ex-NBAers in Pyongyang next month as part of Kim Jong Un's birthday celebrations, CNN reports. It's not clear if Rodman will meet Kim as part of the trip—sponsored by UK-based online betting company Paddy Power—but he could likely play a crucial role for the regime, an expert explains.

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After the execution of Kim's uncle, "Kim Jong Un needs to show that his regime, his government, is united, which it isn't," one expert says. "With Dennis Rodman, we're going to see a lot of made-for-television events. Everybody's going to be smiling, everything will appear normal, and this will bolster the regime." Rodman for his part is unfazed by recent headlines. "It has nothing to do with me. I mean, whatever his uncle has done, and whoever's done anything in North Korea, I have no control over that," he told Reuters. "I'm just going over there to do a basketball game and have some fun." (Read more Dennis Rodman stories.)

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