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White House chides N. Korea for Rodman visit

Monday - 3/4/2013, 4:13pm  ET

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman signs his autograph for a fan at the Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, before he leaves North Korea Friday, March 1, 2013. Ending his unexpected round of basketball diplomacy in North Korea on Friday, Rodman called leader Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" and said his father and grandfather were "great leaders." (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says North Korea's government should be focused on the well-being of its citizens, not on "celebrity sporting events" to entertain the country's elite.

White House spokesman Jay Carney made the comments in response to a question about ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman's recent visit to North Korea. Rodman watched a basketball game with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Upon his return to the U.S., Rodman said Kim wants President Barack Obama to call him. Carney says the U.S. already has direct channels of communication to North Korea's government and those are the channels it will continue to use.


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