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DPRK leader, retired NBA star watch basketball game together


08:30, March 01, 2013

PYONGYANG, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s top leader Kim Jong Un and former NBA star Dennis Rodman sat together and watched a basketball game between U.S. and DPRK players Thursday, witnesses said.

The competition ended in a 110-110 draw, with 12 DPRK players and four players from the U.S. team Harlem Globetrotters divided into two teams.

Rodman said after the game that "although relations between the two countries are regrettable, personally I am a friend of Marshal Kim Jong Un and the DPRK people."

He thanked the DPRK for inviting the U.S. players and himself for the visit, noting the game reflected the friendship between the two peoples.

During the match, Rodman, who wore dark glasses and a hat, sat to the left of Kim Jong Un. Without any translators, the two talked directly to each other and laughed, witnesses said.

DPRK cheerleaders wearing traditional clothes and miniskirts performed during the intermission of the game. After the game, a DPRK university presented a banner to the Harlem Globetrotters.

College students and Pyongyang citizens, as well as foreign diplomats and representatives from international organizations were invited to watch the game.

Foreign journalists were not invited to cover the U.S. delegation's trip, but local media have given timely coverage of the visit that started on Tuesday.

Rodman will depart earlier than other delegation members, who are scheduled to visit Panmunjom on the border with South Korea before leaving on March 5th.

The Harlem team said the DPRK was their 122nd visiting stop, after the invitation from the DPRK Sports Ministry came to them one month ago.

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