BEIJING (AP) — Former basketball star Dennis Rodman apologized on Monday for not being able to help an American missionary detained in North Korea during his trip there to play in a game to celebrate the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything,” Rodman told media on his arrival at Beijing airport from a weeklong trip. “It’s not my fault. I’m sorry. I just want to do some good stuff, that’s all I want to do.”
Rodman and the squad of retired NBA players he took to North Korea for an exhibition game marking Kim’s birthday have met with criticism in the U.S. because of North Korea’s human rights record and its development of nuclear weapons.
Rodman apologized last week for comments he made about Kenneth Bae, who has been detained for more than a year for “anti-state crimes.” He had implied that Bae was at fault in a CNN interview.
Rodman and Kim struck up a friendship when the former first traveled to the secretive state last year. On Wednesday, he sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim before playing the exhibition game at a Pyongyang stadium.