SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

January 10, 2014

Ex-NBAer Rodman apologizes for comments on jailed American

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman apologized yesterday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.

The former basketball star issued the apology through publicist Jules Feiler in an email message to The Associated Press, a day after he sang “Happy Birthday” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of the friendly game.

Rodman has been slammed for not using his influence with Kim to help free Kenneth Bae, the missionary in poor health who is being confined in North Korea for “anti-state” crimes. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Rodman implied Bae was at fault.

“I want to apologize,” Rodman said yesterday. “I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.”

Rodman said he wanted to apologize first to Bae’s family. “I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”

In the interview, Rodman was asked whether he would raise the issue of Bae during his visit.

“Kenneth Bae did one thing,” Rodman replied. “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did — do you understand what he did in this country?”

Asked to explain, Rodman declined to respond.

Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary and tour operator based in China, has been detained for more than a year. North Korea sees missionary work as a threat to its authoritarian government.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Hamilton church volunteers assaulted in Guatemala

    A local church group returning to Guatemala City airport after eight days of mission work was attacked Tuesday.

    July 25, 2014

  • BREAKING: Market Basket board to consider sale to Arthur T. Demoulas

    BOSTON — Market Basket’s board of directors this afternoon announced it will consider offers to buy the company, including that from ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. His offer will be considered “along with any other offers previously received and to b

    July 25, 2014 7 Stories

  • Drama builds today in Market Basket saga

    July 25, 2014

  • 140721_GT_MSP_MARKETBASKET_04 [Duplicate] Ousted CEO bids for Market Basket Arthur T. Demoulas' offer to buy the rest of the supermarket chain embroiled in a widespread protest and boycott was met with elation, and then a reality check, protest organizers said Thursday. Demoulas announced his offer Wednesday night, though he

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mary Manning Police details probe could wrap up early SALEM -- The probe into alleged misconduct by police Capt. Brian Gilligan has begun, and officials say it looks like it will wrap up more quickly than initially expected -- possibly this summer. Chief Paul Tucker recently suspended Gilligan for five

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos