Dennis Rodman returns to North Korea after three years.
The controversial basketball star said he was traveling as a private citizen.
Dennis Rodman told reporters at Beijing Airport on his way to North Korea: “I’m just trying to open the door.”
The former NBA star made headlines after making friends with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on previous trips to Pyongyang in 2013 and 2014. Dennis Rodman called Kim Jong Un his “lifelong friend.”
The US State Department said it was aware of Dennis Rodman’s visit.
Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon said, according to : “We wish him well. But we issued warnings to travel to the Americans and suggested that they not travel to North Korea for their own safety. “
Dennis Rodman told reporters: “My goal is actually to see if I can continue to play sports in North Korea, so that’s the main thing.”
It is unclear whether the former NBA player will also raise the detention of US citizens in the country.
Tensions in the United States and North Korea have escalated under President Donald Trump.
However, President Trump also said he would be “honored” to meet with Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
Speaking at the airport on June 13, Dennis Rodman said: “I am almost sure he is [President Trump] is pleased with the fact that I am here and trying to achieve something we both need. “
Asked about the former Chicago Bulls star’s visits to North Korea in 2013, Donald Trump told Fox News: “Look at the world, the world is exploding around us. Maybe Dennis is much better than we have. “
Dennis Rodman was a contestant on Donald Trump’s reality show The celebrity apprentice the same year.
In 2014, Donald Trump categorically rejected rumors that the couple could travel to North Korea together.
Dennis Rodman once encouraged former President Barack Obama to “pick up the phone and call” Kim Jong-un, stressing that both leaders like basketball.
In the American press, his travels have been called “basketball diplomacy.”
In 2014, Dennis Rodman told a luxury lifestyle magazine DuJour he had turned to the US government for support, but was rejected.
He had previously cried during television interviews, saying he had been threatened with death during his travels, which had been condemned by human rights activists.
Although at one point he tweeted to Kim Jong Un to ask if he would “make me solid and let Kenneth Bae untie himself” – referring to a US-Korean missionary who spent two years in prison trying to overthrow the government.
Kenneth Bae later thanked Dennis Rodman for raising public awareness of his case.
On June 13, Dennis Rodman wrote on Twitter that his last trip was sponsored by a company that provides digital currency to the marijuana industry. At the airport, he wore fully branded clothing.
A previous trip to North Korea was sponsored by a betting company.