Dennis Rodman Visits North Korea for the Third Time

January 29, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. legend /ˈlɛdʒənd/ (n.) – a person who is one of the greatest in a specific field
Example: Basketball legend Michael Jordan is admired by many people.

2. unlikely /ʌnˈlaɪkli/ (adj.) – rare or not possible to happen
Example: A careful leader is unlikely to fail.

3. label /ˈleɪbəl/ (v.) – to give another name to something
Example: The coach labeled Ken as the team’s “tower” because of his height.

4. execution /ˌɛksɪˈkyuʃən/ (n.) – the act of punishing someone with death
Example: The commander ordered the execution of the captured terrorists.

5. insist /ɪnˈsɪst/ (v.) – to keep saying something forcefully
Example: Charles keeps insisting that his team should have won the game.


Read the text below.
Basketball legend Dennis Rodman recently visited North Korea for the third time.

Rodman stayed in North Korea for four days to help train the country’s national basketball players. Also, he helped in preparing a friendly game between the North Koreans and his team composed of other former NBA players. The event was scheduled on the birthday of Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s supreme leader.

In February 2013, Rodman had his first trip to the country for a basketball exhibition game. He developed an unlikely friendship with the leader, who is a big fan of basketball. He even labeled Kim Jong-Un as a lifetime friend.

Despite the country’s human rights violations, Rodman describes the leader as a very good guy. They talked and ate together for the first two meetings. However, Rodman and Kim were not able to meet during the athlete’s third visit.

A week before Rodman’s third visit, North Korea announced the execution of Kim’s own uncle for reasons of planned rebellion. Kim’s uncle was considered as North Korea’s second leader.

Rodman said the lack of meeting with the leader during his third stay in North Korea did not worry him. The visit was just about the training and preparation for the game. In the first week of January, he again returned to the country to personally greet Kim Jong-Un on his birthday.

The international community criticized Rodman’s series of trips in North Korea, which began during the nation’s nuclear missile tests. However, Rodman refused to comment on the political issues involving the nation and insisted that his visit is only about basketball and about having fun.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of Kim Jong-Un and Dennis Rodman’s friendship? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think the international community criticizes Rodman’s visit to North Korea?

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to protect one’s human rights?
·         In your opinion, how can the violation of human rights be prevented?


January 29, 2014