Former NBA bad boy Rodman is back in North Korea

Kim Jong Nam had $120000 in cash on him at time of slaying

Kim Jong Nam had $120000 in cash on him at time of slaying

Former Chicago Bulls basketball star Dennis Rodman flew into North Korea Tuesday morning and hopes to meet Kim Jong Un, according to associates, at a time when President Donald Trump is said to be trying to set up a secret channel to North Korea.

Hours before Game 5 of the NBA Finals got underway in Oakland between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the prospect of NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman again traveling to North Korea on a diplomatic mission lit up basketball Twitter and beyond Monday. On the other hand, when two North Korean officials - who declined to be identified - were asked, they confirmed that he would be arriving to their country on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Rodman is one of the only Americans to have met Kim Jong Un and will arrive at a time of high tension between North Korea and the USA as Pyongyang seeks to expand its nuclear weapons program.

He's made several visits to the country, but has been roundly criticized for insensitive comments and for regaling leader Kim Jong Un with "Happy Birthday" in 2014.

Rodman tweeted that his trip was being sponsored by Potcoin, one of a growing number of cybercurrencies used to buy and sell marijuana in state-regulated markets.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said Rodman would stay until Saturday.

Rodman was filmed leading a sing-along of "Happy Birthday" to the North Korean leader, a man he calls a friend and a "very good guy", but is widely seen as a brutal dictator who once lauded the execution of his own uncle.

North Korea has touted its drone program in recent years, and South Korean officials believe its military has about 300 drones.

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"But one thing we know is that Trump is transactional", said one person who works on North Korea, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions.

"Headed back to North Korea".

Rodman was mobbed by journalists when he arrived at Beijing's airport on Tuesday to catch a flight for the North Korean capital.

Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst who advised Rodman after an earlier trip, said that the basketballer had a "long-standing invitation" to return to North Korea. "My objective is to go over there and try to see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea".

Under a deal with Moon's conservative predecessor, the United States deployed key components of the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system this spring to cope with a potential North Korean nuclear threat.

Rodman's North Korea visits over the years have fueled speculation that he could somehow facilitate a diplomatic breakthrough between Pyongyang and Washington. Rodman, who appeared on Trump's reality TV show in 2009 and again in 2013, went on to endorse Trump's candidacy in 2015.

"We are aware of his visit".

The visit, the objective of which remained unclear, would be Rodman's latest to the nuclear-armed nation.

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