Dennis Rodman departed North Korea following his latest trip wearing an “Ambassador Rodman” T-shirt, suggesting the former NBA star has been attempting to promote diplomacy between the isolated country and the U.S.
Rodman returned to Beijing Saturday and was mobbed by reporters at the airport. He was wearing different clothing at the time, but an image of the shirt he was donning as he left Pyongyang earlier in the day circulated around social media.
“I come in peace,” a cartoon version of the retired basketball player says on the shirt.
The former Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls champion said he was trying to promote sports during his latest five-day trip to North Korea and spoke positively of the experience, Reuters reported.
“Everybody’s going to be happy. It was a good day. It was a good trip. A really good trip,” Rodman said.
Repeatedly questioned on whether or not he met with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, Rodman told reporters: “You’ll find out.”
Rodman visited North Korea in 2013 and 2014 and met with the leader, calling him his “best friend.” One of his trips was chronicled in the 2015 documentary Big Bang in Pyongyang, in which Rodman teaches basketball to North Korean players and sings “Happy Birthday” to Kim.
Rodman refused to comment on whether or not he had anything to do with the release of Otto Warmbier, an American student — who returned to the States on the day of Rodman’s arrival. Warmbier is suffering from brain damage following his detention in North Korea for more than year as punishment for stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.
Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. are high as the former has increasingly armed itself with nuclear weapons and continues to operate under what many describe as a totalitarian dictatorship.
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