Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman led an auditorium of North Koreans in singing Happy Birthday to their leader on Wednesday (January 8), a day after he sparked controversy by appearing to suggest a Korean-American was to blame for his captivity in North Korea.
North Korean state broadcaster, KRT broadcast footage showing Rodman leading a chorus of people in song to the leader of the isolated and heavily sanctioned country, at a basketball match that Kim attended with his young wife, Ri Sol Ju.
North Korean state media said the song was "reflecting (Rodman's) reverence" for Kim Jong Un, and that he had organised the game as a gift for his birthday, confirming for the first time the young leader's date of birth. He is believed to be 31.
Rodman brought a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang to participate in the match.
A capacity crowd of 14,000 people watched their team beat the All Stars 47 points to 39 in the first half, before the teams were split up and merged for the second half.
Rodman's fourth trip to North Korea has drawn criticism from human rights activists and the family of imprisoned U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae after Rodman appeared to suggest in an interview peppered with obscenities that Bae, rather than the North Korean authorities, was responsible for his incarceration.
Rodman's advisers issued a statement attributed to the retired player apologising for the comments and saying that he had been drinking on a stressful day.
Presented by Adam Justice