Rodman wants to organize NKorea-US basketball games
Former-NBA player Dennis Rodman holds a news conference in New York on September 9, 2013 to discuss his recent trip to North Korea.
As per an agreement with Kim, the first game will be on January 8, Kim's birthday, and the other on the 10th, Rodman told a news conference in New York. He referred to Kim as the marshall.
"The marshall told me 'we want people to come here because we are not a bad country,'" the former Chicago Bulls star said. He returned from North Korea Saturday after a weeklong visit.
Little is known of Kim's private life in the reclusive and impoverished nuclear-armed state. Rodman confirmed, as he had said earlier to The Guardian, that Kim has a small daughter named Ju-Ae and he himself had held her in his arms.
"They gave me his daughter for the first time in history. I held his kid," Rodman said.
Kim succeeded his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011 following the death of the elder.
Little is known about him by the outside world, and the United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea.
But for the first time Monday, the State Department hinted it might be prepared to talk to Rodman about what he has gleaned about Kim.
Although deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted Rodman was on a private visit, she said: "We're always open to receiving those kinds of briefings, certainly."
Kim's exact age is not known, although the South Korean press puts it between 29 and 31. Rodman says he is 30.
Since July 2012, it has been known that Kim is married, thanks to official photos that show him beside a young woman at events. His wife, Ri Sol-ju, looked to be pregnant in shots taken last December.
Rodman said he will return to North Korea December 14 to train the local players who will compete against Americans in games sponsored by Irish bookmaking company Paddy Power.
He said he has also agreed to train the North Koreans for the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Rodman said the American team that will play in North Korea will be made of former stars from his era, such as Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen.
Kim represents the third generation of the world's only communist dynasty: his father had succeeded Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
There had been speculation that Rodman would try to use his budding relationship with Kim to help free jailed American Kenneth Bae, 45, who was arrested in November 2012 as he entered the hardline communist state's northeastern port city of Rason. But Rodman came home without him.
North Korea, which bans religious proselytizing, says that Bae was a Christian evangelist who brought in "inflammatory" material.
He was sentenced to 15 years' hard labor earlier this year on charges of trying to topple the North Korean regime.
Washington has repeatedly called on Pyongyang to free Bae as a humanitarian gesture.
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