RETIRED basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time later this week.
Rodman, who won five league championships during a 14-year NBA career and has been inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame, will return to North Korea on Thursday despite rising tensions in the country.
Rory Scott, spokesman for trip organisers Paddy Power, said: “It’s certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now - a bit of trouble or chaos - there’s even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges.”
Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship.
Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek was executed during a party purge last week which South Korean President Park Geun-hye described as a “reign of terror”.
Rodman is expected to provide North Korea’s national basketball team with four days of training. He also intends to return to Pyongyang in January with a team of fellow former NBA stars to hold basketball games on Kim Jong Un’s birthday.