Rodman apologizes for 'certain situations' in North Korea

Jan. 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM
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BEIJING, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman apologized for "certain situations" in North Korea and repeated he did nothing wrong setting up an exhibition game in the country.

While not explaining what the "situations" were, Rodman told CNN Monday, "I'm sorry for what's going on in North Korea, the certain situations."

Rodman spoke to CNN from the Beijing airport after departing Pyongyang where he had spent a week.

Last week, Rodman was criticized for his rant against Kenneth Bae, the U.S. citizen sentenced in 2013 to 15 years hard labor by North Korea on charges he plotted to bring down the government through religious activities. During an interview with CNN, Rodman seemed to hint Bae may have done something wrong to receive such a stiff sentence. Following criticism from Bae's family and others, Rodman apologized, blaming his comments on alcohol and stress.

In Beijing Monday, Rodman repeated his statement that his trip to to North Korea was for sports, not politics. He and other former NBA stars played an exhibition game against North Korean players on the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un, to whom Rodman sang "Happy Birthday."

"I'm not God, I'm not [an] ambassador, I'm no one," he said Monday. "I just want to show the world the fact that we can actually get along in sport. That is it!"

Rodman said he was saddened that "everyone is trying to break this down, to push it on me."

"I don't know why," he said. "I haven't done anything wrong. Nothing wrong!"

Rodman has rejected suggestions he betrayed his country by befriending Kim, who purged and executed an influential uncle only weeks before Rodman's trip.

"I love America. I love my country," he said. "I'd never damage my country."

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