Nightly News   |  January 08, 2014

Rodman’s North Korea Antics Worry Family of Hostage

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman serenaded North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, capping his performance with a slight bow, followed by a basketball game.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in north korea today we watched the latest bizarre chapter play out in the life of dennis rodman , the former nba star turned one man good will ambassador to of all places, north korea . he made news there both for his actions today and his comments about an american who continues to be held by north korea . our report tonight from our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell .

>> reporter: how do you celebrate the 31st birthday of a north korean dictator who just executed his own uncle? some would say very carefully, dennis rodman 's bizarre throaty performance was capped by a slight bow to kim jong -un, who was there even though photographers could not take pictures of him. the main event was a basketball tournament between the korean players and the americans, but this was not funny for an american prisoner, 45-year-old kenneth bae , from los angeles . he was already held for 14 months, criticized by rodman this week in a cable tv rant.

>> if you're going to say -- i got the guy. if you understand what kenneth bae did.

>> reporter: that only increased the worry for bae 's family back home.

>> this is not a game, dennis rodman can play a basketball game and media game all he wants with his own life, abobut this is a man's life.

>> reporter: the state department says it doesn't have a state's diplomacy department with north korea and dennis rodman doesn't represent the united states .

>> he may have given the north koreans cover for keeping kenneth bae longer, by implying he were guilty, which he was not.

>> reporter: if the statements were not so wrong. andrea mitchell .