Former professional basketball star Dennis Rodman is expected to arrive in North Korea on Tuesday, CNN has reported, amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program and its jailing of four USA nationals.
A senior USA official tells CNN that the State Department was aware Rodman was planning to travel to North Korea, but stressed Rodman was not traveling there in any official capacity for the US government.
Rodman's 2013 trip came just two weeks after North Korea conducted the first of three underground nuclear tests it has done under the rule of Kim, who is openly pursuing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the US mainland. Most recently in 2014 he attracted a deluge of criticism after being filmed singing happy birthday to his "friend for life", leader Kim Jong-Un.
A North Korean foreign ministry official said Rodman would stay until Saturday.
Highlighting the long history of the relations between Russian Federation and North Korea, Kim expressed hope that the traditions of friendship between the two countries would be further strengthened, reports Sputnik.
The drone was found in a South Korean border town last Friday and South Korean investigators have discovered hundreds of photos in its Sony-made camera, a Defense Ministry official said, requesting anonymity because of department rules.
Mr Trump called Rodman "smart" for his 2013 trip to North Korea, NK News reported.
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It's annoying for them to do so much and nearly have a result that would have been one of the best ever". They were like a heavyweight boxer and we were middleweight, which we expected.
"My objective is to actually to see if I can keep bringing sports to North Korea, so that's the main thing", said Rodman, who wore his familiar facial piercings and was escorted through customs and immigration by two handlers.
On his first trip to North Korea, Rodman was accompanied by members of the Harlem Globetrotters and a crew from VICE News.
Rodman has described his series of trips to North Korea as a "basketball diplomacy" project and defended the trip for Kim's birthday in an earlier CNN interview saying it was a "great idea for the world".
The retired athlete was a former contestant on U.S. President Donald Trump's reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice", which Trump hosted before running for office, and went on to endorse Trump during election season.
Under a deal with Moon's conservative predecessor, the United States deployed key components of the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system this spring to cope with a potential North Korean nuclear threat. But the claim that marijuana is legal in North Korea is not true. But Trump fired Rodman for spelling his wife Melania's name wrong.
Rodman has made several visits to North Korea.
In a Youtube video released as part of PotCoin's statement, Rodman's minder Chris Volo said the former National Basketball Association star was visiting North Korea to "try to bridge the gap and bring peace and dialogue".