Dennis Rodman Says He's On 'Mission' To North Korea

2014 Rodman sings Happy Birthday to North Korean leader

2014 Rodman sings Happy Birthday to North Korean leader

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland described North Korea's actions as "despicable".

Former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman is expected to arrive in North Korea on Tuesday for a trip the State Department said was not an official US visit, CNN reported on Monday.

U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, speaking with reporters in Tokyo after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's top national security adviser, said Rodman was traveling as a private citizen.

Officials involved in securing Warmbier's release told The Post that it had nothing to do with Rodman's trip to Pyongyang, calling it a "bizarre coincidence" that might have been a deliberate ploy from North Korea to distract from Warmbier's condition.

"We learned of (his coma) only one week ago", the family's statement said.

The Associated Press could not immediately confirm that information.

Tillerson responded: "Ah, no comment on that right now".

Last night CNN broke news that former basketball star Dennis Rodman was back in North Korea.

Rodman added, "I'll discuss my mission when I return".

Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon also told reporters in Tokyo that the US has issued travel warnings to Americans suggesting they not travel to North Korea for their own safety.

The official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no formal statement had been released, said he could not provide further details.

During Rodman's first trip, he and Kim, known to be a basketball enthusiast, sat side by side at an exhibition game in Pyongyang, and chatted as they watched players from North Korea and the United States play on mixed teams.

Rodman has received the red-carpet treatment on four past trips since 2013, but has been roundly criticized for visiting during a time of high tensions between the US and North Korea over its weapons programs.

North Korean authorities claim that they have security footage of Otto trying to steal a banner containing a political slogan that was hanging from the walls of his Pyongyang hotel, according to CNN. But with the US leading a growing global coalition determined to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile testing as well as threats against neightbors and Western countries, the Americans could be bargaining chips at best and human shields at worst, according to experts.

The court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward [the North], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

Tillerson said the U.S. is discussing their respective cases with the North Korean regime. That would be grounds in North Korea for a subversion charge.

Warmbier was detained in January of 2016 at the airport in Pyongyang while he was on his way home.

According to multiple reports, Warmbier is in a coma. "Fred, Cindy, and the Warmbier family have been remarkably strong throughout this ordeal".

Warmbier was supposed to graduate from the University of Virginia in May.

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has worked for Warmbier's release with his Center for Global Engagement, said Warmbier has been in a coma for more than a year.

We're all so glad to hear that Otto Warmbier is coming home &will soon be reunited with his family in OH. He said Warmbier's sentence was "unnecessary and appalling".

"We at Potcoin are thrilled to be a part of this historical ground breaking trip about peace and love", Perez said, refraining from commenting on whether the North Korean authorities are aware that Rodman's trip was being funded by the group.

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