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Dennis Rodman Loses It On TV In North Korea

Melissah Yang |
January 7, 2014 | 12:30 p.m. PST

Senior News Editor

Dennis Rodman, the self-styled U.S. ambassador to North Korea, angrily defended Tuesday his visit to the country with a team of former NBA players.

READ MORE: Rodman Plus Six Take On North Korean Team

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Rodman lashed out when prompted with questions about the detainment of Kenneth Bae, an American who in May was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor due to alleged charges of "hostile acts" against the North Korean government.

"Kenneth Bae did one thing. ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this," Rodman argued.

Cuomo continued to prod the former Bulls player to explain the charges against Bae, only to receive further hostility.

"I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here," Rodman said.

The White House, who has worked to secure Bae's release, further distanced itself from Rodman's "basketball diplomacy."

"I did not see some of the comments that Mr. Rodman made, but I am not going to dignify that outburst with a response," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a press conference. "I am simply going to say that we remain gravely concerned about Kenneth Bae's health and continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant his amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds."

This is Rodman's fourth trip to North Korea. A basketball game is set to happen between Rodman's contingent of former NBA players and the North Korean basketball team on Wednesday, Kim Jong Un's 31st birthday.

Watch the full CNN interview here.

Reach Senior News Editor Melissah Yang here. Follow her on Twitter @MelissahYang.



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