Did Dennis Rodman Violate U.N. Sanctions on North Korea?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 4 2014 7:14 PM

Did Dennis Rodman Violate U.N. Sanctions on North Korea?

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South Korean conservative protesters wear masks of a pig, symbolizing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and former NBA player Dennis Rodman (R) during a anti North Korea protest marking the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's birthday on January 8, 2014 in Seoul, South Korea.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

While the rest of the world debates sanctions on Russia, a sanctions panel at the United Nations is casting its eye on Dennis Rodman. Under investigation is whether Rodman brought or received gifts during his recent trips to North Korea, an action which may violate U.N. restrictions of luxury goods on Pyongyang. Here’s Reuters with details on the reported gift exchange:

"Media reports ... corroborated by the panel indicate that among items taken by Dennis Rodman and his party during their visits were sporting goods from various countries, five bottles of vodka (United States) taken by Rodman and one bottle of whiskey (Ireland)," the report says.
In an excerpt seen by Reuters, the report also refers to other gifts, including "two whiskey glasses and one whiskey decanter (Ireland), and a Mulberry handbag (United Kingdom)…”
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Rodman, who has traveled to North Korea several times, visited the ostracized country in 2013 to promote his vodka brand, according to Reuters. For those who need a refresher, Rodman came under fire for his latest trip to North Korea in January of 2014 which included an exhibition basketball game to celebrate leader Kim Jong-un’s birthday. It also ended with a messy apology from Rodman for “drunken” comments he made about Kenneth Bae, a captive American citizen in North Korea. After the incident, Rodman checked himself into a rehab facility for substance abuse.

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