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Dennis Rodman Back In North Korea For Third Time

Dennis Rodman returned to North Korea Thursday for yet another round of "basketball diplomacy."
Posted at 10:00 AM, Dec 19, 2013

He's baaaack! Dennis Rodman returned to North Korea Thursday for yet another round of "basketball diplomacy."

The infamous retired basketball star reportedly made the trip back to North Korea from China to help train a team of basketball players for an upcoming exhibition game in Pyongyang. (Via ABC)

He told reporters at Beijing's airport, "I know (Kim) is waiting for me to come back. So hopefully we will have some conversation about some things that's going to help the world." (Via Sky News)

According to CNN, the North Korean players will face off against a team of former NBA players Jan. 8. 

And the match up is just in time to celebrate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's birthday, who Rodman has befriended and called "a very good guy." (Via Euronews)

"I'm very proud to say he's my friend because he hasn't done anything to put a damper or to say any negative things about my country or this and that." (Via YouTube / smtv)

Rodman and Kim reportedly first started their friendship back in February during Rodman's first visit to North Korea after the two sat next to each other during an exhibition game in the country's capital. (Via CBS)

"The Worm" decided to make his third trip to North Korea despite the disturbing political unrest that's surfaced in the country recently.

Last week, North Korea announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, who was Kim Jong Un's uncle and the country's second most powerful leader. (Via The Independent)

Jang was killed after North Korea's official news agency accused him of trying to overthrow the state. (Via ITN)

And on top of that, the State Department has advised Americans not to travel to North Korea for a long time now. But Rodman says he's not worried for his personal safety. (Via Fox News)

Rodman is still the highest-profile American to meet Kim since he gained power back in 2011. His trip is being funded by Irish online betting website Paddy Power.