North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.
BEIJING (AP) - Dennis Rodman says he's going forward with an exhibition game including former NBA players in North Korea because he wants to connect with its people and let others know the sheltered communist country isn't so bad.
Rodman headed to Pyongyang Monday from Beijing with former NBA colleagues including Vin Baker and Cliff Robinson in what he calls "basketball diplomacy," although U.S. officials have criticized his efforts.
Rodman said: "It's about trying to connect two countries together in the world, to let people know that: Do you know what? Not every country in the world is that bad, especially North Korea."
Rodman has been faulted for not talking about North Korea's human rights record, described as one of the world's worst by activists, the U.S. State Department and North Korean defectors.
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