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In North Korea, ‘nobody is safe’

December 19th, 2013
12:01 PM ET

The world's most unlikely lone-ranger diplomat, Dennis Rodman, has gone to North Korea for his third visit.

This time, he is there to prepare for "the big bang from Pyongyang" - an upcoming basketball extravaganza between North Koreans and former NBA stars, for leader Kim Jong Un's birthday.

Rodman is clearly undeterred by the shocking news this week.

His "good friend," the increasingly ruthless Kim, ordered his own uncle executed last week.

State media said the husband of Kim Jong Il's sister was "human scum", who "dared to dream different dreams".

How to decipher what’s coming next...?

As the former British ambassador to North Korea, John Everard knows the Hermit Kingdom better than almost any other Westerner.

“They'll all be thinking, if Jang Song Thaek can be removed from power and executed, then nobody is safe,” he told Amanpour.

Click above to see the full interview.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • North Korea
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. kimoy

    Where's the link for the full interview?

    December 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Good question.

      December 20, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  2. Justice NK

    How do you compare this tattoo filled, dirty, cheating basketball prayer, to Lone ranger? One must realize that North Korea is a trap for Americans North America or South Americans.

    December 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  3. Korea Veteran

    "After their leader Kim Jong Un had his own uncle executed, how do ordinary North Koreans feel?"

    As long as North Koreans have no voice, we'll never know....

    December 20, 2013 at 3:44 am | Reply
  4. Bob

    Or as the home page link says, "No on is safe in North Korea"...

    December 20, 2013 at 6:57 am | Reply
  5. Mario

    Dont know who is the biggest clown Jong or Rodman

    December 20, 2013 at 7:00 am | Reply
  6. Edmilson Alvarenga

    God save North Korea

    December 20, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
  7. Jenny

    Stop warmongering, U.S. And/or CNN.

    December 20, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
  8. dwayne

    I wonder if Rodman has gotten used to the dog steaks yet?

    December 20, 2013 at 9:06 am | Reply
  9. Dave

    Rodman does understand that if the ex-NBA guys beat NK in the basketball game they are as good as toast doesn't he? If NK doesn't win then no player, from either side, will be allowed to leave the court alive. This guy is wacko and I can't believe that Rodman would set himself like this.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • rexedie

      i was thinking the same thing. he executes his uncle to demonstrate how crazy he can be if he wants to. definitely a psycho. rodman better watch his back or his groin) ... i think kim lil dick has penis envy....

      December 20, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
  10. So why are Americans allowed to go there.

    We're banned from visiting Cuba and they've never been at war with us.

    Funny, that.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • s~

      Wasn't Bay of Pigs technically a war... it was an invasion for sure.

      December 20, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
  11. shackleton

    so what happens to rodmen and the NBA players after they embarrass the north korean team? labor camps?

    December 20, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  12. ORANGESUNSHYNE

    Those who serve in the Army in North Korea are trained to kill (even their own family members) with no remorse.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:21 am | Reply
  13. Richard

    This is news? Since when has ANYBODY been safe in NK?

    December 20, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
  14. Knucklehead

    What becomes of the losers of this game?

    December 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  15. Dennis

    North Koreans need to fight for North Korea

    December 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  16. todd

    I love North Koreas state-of-the-art technology, a "FAX MACHINE".

    December 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  17. billy vidal

    not only north korea ,, the planet now are in danger

    December 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  18. alexander hughes

    i believe that kim will make considerable negotiations with south korea and the international community... now that he's killing off his possible dissenters and executioners... we should wait and see...and for god's sake the american team must lose the match...in order to save the lives of the korean basket ball team...in case i am wrong!!!

    December 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  19. Micky

    He is a dictator. The only one with absolute power. That will be his down fall .Soon if not already he will think everyone is out to get him.

    December 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  20. Johnny

    Kim Jong Un is not alone in that dramatic extermination campaign. I think he is just a pawn in the game of chess..

    December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  21. michael

    Kim beaks into song with D. Rodman "the Power and the Money.....just spending all our life...living in the worka's paradise!

    December 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  22. Texas

    Anyone who goes to North Korea is a total idiot! Let the nasty nation kill each other.

    December 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  23. Kojo

    My dad, before he died, told me, son, 'stupidity is not an in-born trait but a habit that is acquired over a period of time from ones actions and/ or inactions'. Clearly, Rodman 'careless about politics' as he claims but if he: Rodman, did not hear the rains come, didn't he see the wet ground the following day? This kid-president just executed the uncle.The dead uncle just dared dream and claping his hand hafely, his sin for being executed. Rodman you really fit my dad's definition.

    December 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  24. lascala

    With North Korea, 'no country Is safe'

    December 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  25. Kim Jong Un

    Don't act like I'm the only one who ever felt like killing relatives around the holidays.

    December 22, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply
  26. outspoken

    The man was caught red handed and he wanted to overthrow the regime. He was cooking something in Kitchen.

    December 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  27. johnny

    Rodman could be spying for DPRK andproviding much needed information by DPRK on American military in South Korea. I suspect his talk about his basketball diplomacy attempt is a sham.

    December 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  28. Kim C. Hee

    There is no crime in N. Korea except that comitted by the State.

    December 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  29. Swagger

    This is not any fare,may be there might be a brave leader to make this happiness in north korea,sorry for all being in such situation,from Africa Tanzania

    January 1, 2014 at 3:39 am | Reply
  30. Joseph of Aramathia

    When you start bumping off your uncle, then everyone will be looking for an opportunity to do away with Kim Jung un. Something similar happened at the end of the French Revolution and it will happen here too. This will all end with North Korea getting enough leaders to secretly plan a coup against this young Hitler protoge and they will execute him and it will probably happen before he's seen his 45th birthday. In fact, it was probably his uncle who was already seeing how evil and rediculous this spoiled brat is and he was likely planning on removing him and, thereby, saving the country when Kim Jung un learned of it. But the motivation was probably all the foolishness that Jung un was spouting off earlier this year. No one wants their country to be in the hands of an infantile, immature deranged individual.

    January 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  31. Justice NK

    Yes there are problems in all places, but in DPRK there is no freedom and most don't even know what is happening even in their own country. majority of NK people never have seen a TV before or never had a radio. Where in the world do you have this problem? In other words the NK regime purposely keep information from their own people. DPRK is not isolated due to U.N. sanctions but due to their own idealogy the Juche idealogy, which is they don't want any help from outside world.

    December 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  32. Korea Veteran

    "...when they wanted to kill Di its okay for them. When they wanted to kill thousand of innocent in nine eleven its okay for them ...at least in N Korea young innocent students are not killed by a shoot out which is fashion in US these days"

    At least in the U.S., it's OK to post on CNN.com that America was behind the death of princess Di, that the U.S. plotted 911, or remind us of the Kent State massacre (which did happen and no one disputes). Try mentioning the Tian'anmen-Massaker on a blog in the PRC or in the DPRK without landing in a political reeducation camp or worse.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:14 am | Reply
  33. Steven

    Karen: Please crawl back under your conspiracy (untrue) rock. You make no sense and you lie. Life is infinatelybbetter in the UK and USa than in that concentration camp called North Korea.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
  34. DaveW

    Lol. Dear leader reads CNN's website and posts comments as Kate Karen.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  35. Peter Grenader

    Ridiculous comparison

    December 20, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
  36. Bjorgen Eatinger

    OMG...you definitely need to educate yourself. Or would you also have somebody in your own family killed?

    December 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  37. Natedog

    Kate Karen? thats not even a real name, no one should even be responding to this person, it sounds like someone from north korea came up with that....

    December 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  38. truthteller

    When seen from the space station at night, all the coutries of the world are brightly lit - except one. North Korea is a gaping hole of darkness. Not surprising for a country that overwhelmingly supresses its own people, keeps them at a starvation level of existence, and imprisons all those who dare to think for themselves. No matter how many people Kim Jong Un kills, he will never conquer the hearts of those who wish to be free. And any attacks he mounts on his neighbors will only unleash the nuclear might of the United States - sufficient to vaporize every living being in all of North Korea. Poor Kim Jong Un - his very attempt to defeat his neighbors will breed his own agonizing death..

    December 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  39. visitdprk

    This is a typical reply from people who have never set foot in North Korea. The North Koreans have TVs and radios just like you, and believe it or not, they even read newspapers. Your bigotry does nothing to highlight the issues that are affecting them, please speak with some authority and knowledge of the issues, or hold your peace. And North Korea is and remains the safest country on the planet to visit. No random shootings, no traffic accidents, no petty crime, no hold-ups, no rape, no nothing. Try and be more balanced next time.

    December 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  40. letmeeatcake

    ...the similarities are not yet so obvious, but america is becoming more and more like north korea...eventually, the only difference will be that you might still be able to go shopping or find something to eat...

    December 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  41. Korea Veteran

    Of course North Koreans have TVs, Radios, Newspapers, and an intranet. But they only can access information that's been approved by the State.

    December 20, 2013 at 3:58 am | Reply
  42. styxhexenhammer666

    But plenty of cannibalism, starvation, and tyrannical brutality.

    I don't understand why starbucks marxists like you glorify the DPRK.

    December 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  43. raleigh silvers

    you can't have traffic accidents when you don't have cars, and if your citizens were allowed to carry fire arms i bet the dear leader wouldn't last long

    December 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  44. Justice NK

    Your earlier comment is a foolish one! I have much more knowledge about North Korea then you will ever have! I should know since my mother and both my in laws were born and grew up there. Thanks for your silly opinion! Next time before you make stupid comments ask someone!

    December 19, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  45. Justice NK

    It's people like you that makes DPRK do exactly what they do! The world have made a determination that after the holocaust NEVER AGAIN! But it is happening in DPRK right now! Say what you want to say! but those people in those death camps are not going to agree with you!

    December 20, 2013 at 12:01 am | Reply
  46. Justice NK

    You said no random shootings. Maybe your right? just randomly shooting UNCLES! You said no random car accidents? Oh yeah how did some of the generals die last year? Car accident!!!! By the way there is no traffic in Pyong Yang. How did the accidents happen in Pyong Yang when one of the generals died? HHHMMM!!!! Before you speak nest time get some info!!!

    December 20, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply
  47. Al Knows

    And we let idiots like you vote, God help us.
    Please don't tell us Hitler was just misunderstood.

    December 20, 2013 at 3:20 am | Reply
  48. Nick G

    Your last sentences may very well be true, but at what price does this 'safety' come with for the Ordinary Joe's of the DPRK? It comes with a hideous price as far as freedom of speech, civil liberty and everything else a westerner could expect as a human right. So, they have TV's and Radios, very nice..... but what you neglect to mention is that everything they watch and listen to is what the powers that be want them to watch and listen to. Your view is biased and unbalanced.

    December 20, 2013 at 4:05 am | Reply
  49. Korea Veteran

    "And North Korea is and remains the safest country on the planet to visit."

    Tell that to Merrill E. Newman or Kenneth Bae.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:04 am | Reply
  50. Erik John Bertel

    Please don't feed the trolls!

    December 20, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  51. s~

    Yeap. It's a great place to live.
    LOL....

    December 20, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  52. DaveW

    Lol. So true. We should strive to emulate North Korea.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:39 am | Reply
  53. lascala

    You idiot! If you like North Korea go to there with your familly and live there until you die.

    December 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  54. J

    I meant kids.

    December 20, 2013 at 6:31 am | Reply
  55. Vladtheinhaler

    Starbucks Marxist. I love it! That nails it perfectly. I have to remember it.
    (wire rim glasses, goatee, vest, etc...)

    (and I'm a bleeding heart liberal)

    December 20, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
  56. JAG

    Bummer he's not still dating Madonna. He could have brought her with him. Two stellar examples of American culture would now be North Koreas problem.
    While we're at it, let's fantasize that the Kardashians take the same trip and take Justin Boober along for the ride.
    We'd all awaken to a newer, fresher America.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:00 am | Reply
  57. Peter Grenader

    As opposed to finding a more original way of committing genocide? Please now... i don't believe that's the important point, do you?

    December 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  58. Ed

    Who is so uneducated that they stand up for a tyrant regime??? If NK has no crime what are all of these huge prison camps all over NK??? Oh thats right, most of them are political prisoners jailed for expressing the "wrong" opinion. I have also read that most of the NK populace is of Chinese decent–especially the ruling family. So they are more like old world South Chinese than Korean.

    December 21, 2013 at 6:18 am | Reply

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