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Thread: Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-thaek executed

  1. #46
    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    God, I just can't imagine the living hell his wife goes through. The same thing will happen to her when he gets tired of her.
    What I really want to know is whether it makes your poop glow in the dark after eating it! ~ Kittylady

  2. #47
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    i don't think she's complaining. in fact, rumour has it she's the one who had him execute his ex-girlfriend who was also a one-time rival of hers (back when they were both singers/dancers).

    in other north korea news:

    Rodman Leading Team of Improbable Emissaries





    Kim Kwang Hyon/Associated Press
    Rodman Returns to North Korea: Dennis Rodman went back to North Korea to play basketball on Kim Jong-un’s birthday.


    By SCOTT CACCIOLA

    Published: January 6, 2014

    One is a recovering alcoholic who said he played in N.B.A. games while drunk. Another is a former 3-point N.B.A. specialist whose estranged wife once doused him in gasoline before attempting to set him on fire. Four others are self-professed street-ball legends.




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    David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

    Charles D. Smith, a member of Rodman’s exhibition team, said the trip was not “to legitimize or delegitimize anyone.”


    And then there is the ringleader:Dennis Rodman, the eccentric former all-world rebounder, five-time N.B.A. champion and full-time provocateur.
    These are the unlikely emissaries who began arriving in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday for a bizarro version of basketball diplomacy with the mysterious North Korean leader,Kim Jong-un — a strange trip that has left the world’s diplomatic corps puzzled and, perhaps, a little jealous over the access the players may receive.
    “This might not be the ideal way to approach it, and Dennis Rodman would never be anybody’s first choice of diplomat,” said Charles Armstrong, a professor of Korean studies at Columbia University. “But if you pardon the expression, this is the only game in town.”
    The 12-member team, which includes such former N.B.A. players as Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges and Charles D. Smith, was hastily assembled by Rodman despite the misgivings of human rights activists, American officials and the league itself.
    Since his first visit to North Korea last February, Rodman has seemingly developed a close relationship with Kim, a basketball and pop culture aficionado who has presided over his nation’s dictatorial government for the past two years after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.
    The Americans are scheduled to play against a North Korean team on Wednesday in a game that Rodman has described as a “birthday present” for Kim, whose birthday is reportedly Jan. 8, 1983. Rodman is 52. Most of the spectators are expected to be members of North Korea’s elite, as well as foreigners willing to pay $8,500 for a four-day tour of the country that includes tickets to the exhibition game. As with many things involving North Korea, it was unclear how widely the event was being publicized.
    The game was Kim’s idea, according to officials at Paddy Power, the Irish online betting company that originally sponsored the trip but withdrew last month amid a storm of negative publicity that arose after Kim executed his uncle, and presumed mentor, on charges of sedition.
    “I am not worried about his uncle,” Rodman told reporters on Monday in Beijing before he and several of his new teammates boarded their flight to Pyongyang. Rodman added that he hoped the game would open doors to “talk about certain things.”
    North Korea has a long record of human rights abuses and has repeatedly threatened its neighbors and the United States with its small arsenal of nuclear weapons. The country has also held Kenneth Bae, an American missionary with health problems, for more than a year on charges of committing “anti-state crimes.”
    Representative Eliot Engel, Democrat from the Bronx, speaking at the Museum of Tolerance in New York City on Monday, delivered an “11th-hour plea” to Rodman not to go through with the game.
    “It would be like inviting Hitler to lunch,” Engel said. “There are just certain things that you don’t do because when you’re doing it, what you seem to be implying is that business as usual is O.K. That it’s O.K. to enslave people. That it’s O.K. to torture people.”
    In a statement, N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern said the league was not involved with Rodman’s North Korean venture “and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department.”
    “Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them,” the statement added.
    Rodman appears undaunted. His 12-member team is believed to include eight N.B.A. retirees, with an average age of 48. The youngest of that group is the 42-year-old, 6-foot-11-inch Baker, whose playing career came to a premature end because of a well-publicized battle with alcoholism.
    Another member of the entourage, Doug Christie, 43, has spent much of his post-playing N.B.A. career in the shadow cast by his wife, a star on the reality show “Basketball Wives L.A.”
    Anderson, a Queens native, was coaching high school basketball in Florida until last year, when he lost his job after an arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. Hodges, the former 3-point wizard, once sued the N.B.A. on grounds of “blackballing” him because of his outspoken political views.
    The N.B.A. alumni on the team also include Sleepy Floyd, Cliff Robinson and Smith, best known to Knicks fans as the player who had four of his shots blocked during a critical sequence of the team’s Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls in 1993.
    In assembling the team, Rodman leaned heavily on Smith, who, in recent years, has conducted overseas clinics and exhibitions as the founder of an organization known as the Professional Basketball Alumni Association. Smith said Rodman had called him recently to inform him of his plans to make another trip to North Korea — this time with a team. Rodman wanted to know if Smith was interested.
    “I had to process it all,” Smith said Sunday in a telephone interview from Beijing. “What you have to understand about Dennis is that his heart is in the right place, his intentions are pure. Dennis is just not good at articulating his thoughts and what he wants to do. I decided to look at this the same way.”
    He added: “People are going to want to write exposés about the North Korean government and ask why we would go to a place like that. If this was political in any way, I’d say, ‘O.K., I get it.’ But this is not political in any way. It’s not to legitimize or delegitimize anyone.”
    Smith said the team’s appearance would be similar to the work he had done with his group, which he operates with the goal of creating financial opportunities for its members. He declined to say what compensation the players were getting.
    It is unclear whether Rodman will brief American officials about the trip, which the State Department said Rodman was making on his own.
    But Armstrong, the Columbia professor, said he would not be surprised if United States officials sought a debriefing in view of Rodman’s unusual access to the North Korean leader.
    Beyond that, Armstrong said he saw diplomatic value in the trip.
    “It seems to me that these sorts of interactions are helpful for oppressive regimes who only see Americans in their own propaganda as evil warmongers and very threatening figures,” Armstrong said. “Here’s a chance for them to see Americans as human beings.”
    Mike Fratello, an analyst with the YES Network, was coaching the Atlanta Hawks when the team embarked on a two-week tour of the Soviet Union in 1988, one of the first of its kind by a United States sports team. When the team first arrived, Fratello said, it was housed in a cement building without electricity.
    “The mosquitoes were bigger than me,” Fratello said in a telephone interview.
    Despite the logistical challenges, Fratello said, he had fond memories. The Hawks developed relationships with several Soviet players who eventually played in the N.B.A. It was global outreach on a small scale.
    As such, Fratello said he admired what Rodman was doing in North Korea.
    “Too bad Dennis didn’t call for a coach,” Fratello said. “I would’ve met them over there.”

    Harvey Araton contributed reporting.




    A version of this article appears in print on January 7, 2014, on page B8 of the New York edition with the headline: Unlikely Emissaries Play Odd Diplomatic Game.










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  3. #48
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Keep him there, please.
    rockchick likes this.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

  4. #49
    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    I know,...revoke his passport.

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