Updated: 01/11/2014 00:05 | By Agence France-Presse

'Mission accomplished' by Rodman's N. Korea game: player

Former NBA star Charles Smith said Friday that a basketball game organised by Dennis Rodman in North Korea had achieved the players' mission of deepening "cultural exchanges" with the reclusive state.


'Mission accomplished' by Rodman's N. Korea game: player

Former NBA basketball player Charles Smith of the US speaks to the media as he arrives at Beijing's international airport from North Korea on January 10, 2014

"On behalf of all the players that went on the trip, it's probably best to say that we set out on a mission to use basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange and we accomplished that mission," the former New York Knicks power forward told reporters at Beijing airport.

Smith returned from Pyongyang with other retired NBA players who took part in an exhibition match Wednesday marking the birthday of reclusive leader Kim Jong-Un, which has sparked huge controversy in the US. 

The flamboyant former Chicago Bulls player Rodman was not with the group.

Rodman has developed an unlikely relationship with the young North Korean leader since making his first trip there in February, when he declared Kim a "friend for life".

At the exhibition match on Wednesday, a heavily tattooed Rodman sang Happy Birthday to Kim, who was watching the game in a packed Pyongyang auditorium.

Rodman has been widely criticised for failing to raise human rights issues or the plight of jailed American Kenneth Bae during his visits to the North.

But Smith said he had "no regrets" about playing, adding: "All of us agree that the trip was simply incredible."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。