Rodman Returns from N.Korea Visit

U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman has arrived in Beijing after a trip to North Korea that did not include a meeting with leader Kim Jong-un.

The former National Basketball Association player said he was not disappointed, telling a reporter Monday, "I'm not worried about it. I'll see him again."

Rodman was in Pyongyang to train local basketball players for an exhibition game next month to mark the North Korean leader's birthday.

During past visits, the eccentric Rodman has held extended personal meetings with Kim, whom he has called a "friend for life" and a "good guy." Rodman is the highest-profile American reported to have met the North Korean leader.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman and an interpreter look on during a basketball practice session in Pyongyang on Dec. 20, 2013. /AP Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman and an interpreter look on during a basketball practice session in Pyongyang on Dec. 20, 2013. /AP

The U.S. State Department has said Rodman does not represent the U.S. government in any way.

Rodman has said he hopes his trips can help convince U.S. President Barack Obama to engage with North Korean leaders, who last year spent weeks threatening a nuclear attack against American targets.

The basketball star has been criticized by many for refusing to bring up human rights abuses with the North Korean government, among the most oppressive in the world.

VOA News / Dec. 24, 2013 08:06 KST