• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 6:08am

North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year. 


Dennis Rodman sorry for birthday visit with Kim Jong-un

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 January, 2014, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 9:03am

Dennis Rodman appeared to break down yesterday as he apologised on his return from a controversial trip to North Korea, where he sang Happy Birthday to regime leader Kim Jong-un.

The former NBA star was widely criticised for refusing to bring up human-rights abuses or the plight of a US missionary detained in North Korea during his week-long visit.

Rodman was also accused of pandering to North Korean authorities during the trip, which featured an exhibition basketball match with other NBA stars.

"I am sorry. I am not the president. I am not an ambassador. I am Dennis Rodman. Just an individual, just showing the world the fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day," Rodman said, before his voice broke and he put his hands to his face.

Rodman has developed an unlikely relationship with Kim since making his first trip to the North last February, when he declared Kim a "friend for life".

The former Chicago Bulls star was asked yesterday whether he raised the issue of Kenneth Bae, who was detained by North Korean authorities in 2012.

"I'm sorry I couldn't do anything," Rodman said.

North Korea, which bans proselytising, says Bae is a Christian evangelist who brought in "inflammatory" material.

Watch: Rodman 'sorry' after controversial North Korea trip


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Poorly written headline.
Where does SCMP get these writers?


SCMP.com Account