The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

December 19, 2013

Rodman in NKorea to prep for game on leader's Bday

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to meet leader Kim Jong Un and put the finishing touches on plans to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking the leader's birthday. Rodman said the game is on track despite the recent execution of Kim's uncle in a dramatic political purge.

Rodman's visit comes less than a week after North Korea announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, an unprecedented fall from grace for one of the most powerful figures in the country. Jang's execution sparked speculation by foreign analysts over the future of the Kim regime.

But officials in Pyongyang say Jang's removal has not caused any instability. Rodman's visit — should it proceed uneventfully — could be a sign that Kim is firmly in charge.

Rodman told The Associated Press in a brief interview at his Pyongyang hotel that he was undaunted by the recent political events.

"I can't control what they do with their government, I can't control what they say or how they do things here," he said. "I'm just trying to come here as a sports figure and try to hope I can open the door for a lot of people in the country."

Rodman and Kim have struck up an unlikely friendship since the Hall of Famer traveled to the secretive state for the first time in February with the Harlem Globetrotters for an HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television.

He remains the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011.

"I've come over to see my friend, and people always give me a little hard time about me saying that," said Rodman, who was given the red carpet treatment at the airport by Vice Sports Minister Son Kwang Ho and O Hun Ryong, secretary-general of the North Korean Basketball Association. "I'm very proud to say he's my friend, because he hasn't done anything to put a damper, to say any negative things about my country."

Text Only
AP Sports
  • Rockies Cubs Baseball [Duplicate] Wada earns first MLB win as Cubs beat Rockies CHICAGO (AP) — After nine seasons in Japan and three years in the minor leagues, Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada finally picked up that elusive first major league victory. Wada (1-1) left little doubt to Monday night's outcome, pitching seven strong innin

    July 29, 2014 7 Photos

  • Baseball Capsules ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yu Darvish struck out eight in seven innings for his 10th victory and J.P. Arencibia had a tiebreaking two-run single for the Texas Rangers in a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night. Darvish (10-6) shouted out

    July 29, 2014

  • NCAA Concussion Lawsuit-9 [Duplicate] APNewsBreak: NCAA settles head injury lawsuit CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer an

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • Golf rounds donated for Linn County veterans CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Corporate sponsors and the city of Cedar Rapids have donated 675 rounds of golf for active duty and honorably discharged veterans in Linn County. Patriot Golf Week begins on Aug. 25 and ends on Labor Day. The week is set up

    July 29, 2014

  • Hall of Fame Strahan Football-6 [Duplicate] The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline HOF class COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats. Thomas, pitchers

    July 28, 2014 24 Photos

  • Clippers Sterling Basketball [Duplicate] It's all over but the arguing in Sterling trial LOS ANGELES (AP) — Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Lawyers for Sterling plan to argue

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NL Capsules SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 4-3 victory Sunday night. Ryu (12-5) moved within tw

    July 28, 2014

  • Baseball Capsules OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Brandon Moss hit a grand slam and the Oakland Athletics gave Jeff Samardzija more run support Thursday than he has had all season in a 13-1 victory over the Houston Astros. Jed Lowrie had three hits and drove in a run for the A

    July 25, 2014

  • Padres Cubs Baseball-6 [Duplicate] Padres rout Cubs 11-3 CHICAGO (AP) — You would never know the San Diego Padres have the lowest team batting average in the major leagues by the way they hit against the Chicago Cubs and starter Edwin Jackson. The light-hitting Padres broke out for a season-best nine runs

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Bears Emery Football [Duplicate] Bears aiming high in Year 2 under Trestman BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — This time last year, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman was still something of a curiosity. He was a guy leading an NFL team for the first time as training camp started, plucked from Canada after spending several years out of

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National