The U.S. announcement that came as former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman was paying a return visit to Pyongyang.
The former basketball player visited North Korea at least four times and three of those visits took place between 2013 and 2014. “But we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety”.
When asked if he had spoken to President Donald Trump, Rodman responded, “I’m pretty sure he’s happy at the fact that I’m over here trying to accomplish something that we both need“.
Trump fired Rodman from Celebrity Apprentice, the reality show the president used to host, because Rodman was unable to spell the name of the Slovenian-born future first lady, Melania.
It is not clear if the Rodman trip is part of that effort or not. He’s likely to face similar accusations now: His visit comes amid global condemnation over North Korea’s accelerating efforts to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, which poses one of the toughest foreign policy challenges for President Donald Trump.
It is not clear whether Rodman, who once dated Madonna and was married to model and actress Carmen Electra, will be meeting with Mr Kim during the trip, or what the exact objective of the visit is.
Trump called Rodman “smart” for his 2013 trip to North Korea, Politico reported at the time. “Well that’s not my objective right now”.
On Tuesday, South Korean military officials told reporters that a North Korean drone found last week had taken photos of a recently installed USA -made antimissile system.
“I was trying to get this game going and get everything going in North Korea”, Rodman told the AP then.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is expected to arrive in North Korea today, marking his fourth visit to the country.
Rodman was spotted at Beijing International Airport but did not answer questions, the news agency said.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Rodman’s trip, but administration officials had told other media that the basketballer was traveling in a private capacity.
The trip was sponsored by PotCoin, a cryptocurrency for legalized marijuana.
He’s made several visits to the country, but has been roundly criticized for insensitive comments and for regaling leader Kim Jong Un with “Happy Birthday” in 2014.
Tillerson said the State Department is still discussing the release of two other Americans detained in North Korea.
Tillerson told Congress on Tuesday, “We continue our discussions with the North Korean regime” regarding those detainees.
“He has the unique, awesome relationship between both President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong-un”, said Rodman’s agent Chris Volo in the video.
It was the fourth week in a row that North Korea has carried out a missile test.
And North Korea is clearly at the top of the agenda for many in the administration.
The delegation was later revealed to have brought a selection of gifts into North Korea which may have contravened global sanctions against the DPRK.
Earlier Tuesday, the Washington Post spoke to Warmbier’s parents about his condition.