Ex-NBA player Rodman expected to arrive in North Korea today

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His latest visit to North Korea - potentially his fifth so far - quickly drew interest from Americans captivated by his Kevin Bacon-esque connection to the leaders of the two countries whose missile deployments have garnered headlines in recent weeks: Kim Jong-Un and President Donald Trump. It's unclear the goal of Rodman's visit, but the former basketball star is one of the only Americans who's ever met current North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

A senior U.S. official said the State Department was aware Rodman was planning to travel to North Korea, but stressed he is not there in any official capacity.

The basketball Hall of Famer has faced ridicule and criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some USA politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda. The NBA Hall of Famer is one of the only Americans to have met current North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman played a key role in winning three National Basketball Association titles for them alongside Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

In a previous trip, Rodman spent a significant amount of time with Kim and his wife, even holding their baby daughter.

"I heard that the North Korean foreign ministry had a desire for a visit by him to reduce tensions with the United States". North Korea called the system a provocation that it says is aimed at bolstering US military hegemony in the region. "Thank you PotCoin.com for sponsoring my mission", Rodman tweeted Tuesday before taking a flight from Beijing to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

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It wouldn't be the first time that Rodman has come back from North Korea with a message from Kim Jong-Un. He also described Kim as "a friend for life" after visiting North Korea in 2013, and has drawn criticism for his public appearances alongside the dictator.

Rodman appeared twice on Trump's pre-presidency "Celebrity Apprentice" show and praised the future president on Twitter during last year's election campaign.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman says he's going to North Korea to open a door, has no plans to discuss detained Americans. Not only is there the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles shadowing nearly all of Southeast Asia, the reclusive country is now detaining four American citizens on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the regime. Trump fired Rodman in both seasons.

Rodman also visited North Korea in January 2014, just weeks after Kim made a stunningly violent move to strengthen his grip on power - executing his uncle and onetime No. 2 Jang Song Thaek for alleged treason.

"We at Potcoin are thrilled to be a part of this historical ground breaking trip about peace and love", Perez said, refraining from commenting on whether the North Korean authorities are aware that Rodman's trip was being funded by the group. In 2014, several suspected North Korean drones were found south of the border.