North Korea Releases Imprisoned US College Student

North Korea Releases Imprisoned US College Student

Rodman's trip was sponsored by Potcoin, a cryptocurrency which processes payments from weed dispensaries.

The NBA Hall of Famer, who wore a black t-shirt with PotCoin emblazoned on it, briefly spoke to reporters before his flight from Beijing to Pyongyang.

Nope. Of the president, Rodman said, "Well, I'm pretty sure he's pretty much happy with the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need". Rodman has traveled to the isolated nation four times previously and is one of few people to have met both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

Rodman appeared on two seasons of Trump's Celebrity Apprentice TV show.

"Anyone who knows Dennis knows he's trying to use his relationship to open the line of communication and send a message of peace and understanding", Prince said. "He's smart in many ways; he's very streetwise".

He was heavily criticised in the USA for not bringing up the case of Kenneth Bae, an American imprisoned on charges of "hostile acts" who spent 735 days in North Korean custody before being released later in 2014. Rodman later referred to Kim Jong Un as his "best friend".

When Rodman visited the North in February 2013 with the Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team, Kim was said to have personally gifted him with a present that said, "For our friendship".

Kim, who was educated in Switzerland, is reported to be a keen basketball fan and especially of the Chicago Bulls. Rodman said the detainees aren't the reason he is traveling to see Kim. But the visit seemed to do more harm than good for Rodman's reputation. The unlikely pair ended the evening with drinks and dining on sushi.

A senior administration official said the Trump administration did not authorize this trip.

Rodman said he would explain his mission once he returned to the US, but told the Associated Press he's "just trying to open a door" and has no plans to discuss the four Americans detained there.

The North has occasionally jailed U.S. citizens and released them only after visits by high-profile political figures, including former president Bill Clinton.

North Korean officials confirmed that Rodman was expected to arrive in Pyongyang later today.

The past year has seen increasingly aggressive missile testing from Kim Jong-un and (bizarrely) a recent threat to nuke New York City.

Meanwhile, Rodman's "best friend" is now detaining four Americans for various alleged crimes.

Warmbier was a student at the University of Virginia.

"On camera, Warmbier said he stole the propaganda poster on behalf of a member of the Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming, Ohio, who wanted it 'as a trophy.' In exchange, he would receive a used vehicle worth $10,000".

Hours after his arrival, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that North Korea had released an American student serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts. He also told ESPN that he would "never go back" to North Korea and was sorry he ever went. Otto Warmbier's parents learned of his sons' medical condition just one week ago.

Moon, a center-left politician who was sworn in last month after a landslide election win, wants to engage with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, rather than continuing the hardline stance taken by his ousted predecessor Park Geun-Hye.