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SEOUL Dennis Rodman headed for a North Korean ski resort on Thursday after staging a match in Pyongyang for dictator Kim Jong Un's birthday that has drawn the ire of human rights activists and some of his fellow professionals.
While North Koreans suffer from food shortages and malnutrition, according to United Nations assessments, Kim has pushed ahead with massive building projects such as the Masik Ski Resort that Rodman will visit.
Angry Dennis Rodman defends North Korea visits
executed in one of the biggest and most public purges undertaken in North Korea, which has been ruled by the Nike Air Uptempo Low same family for three generations.
South Korean officials estimate it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and North Korea aims to make $43.75 million in annual profit from the resort, according to documents prepared for potential foreign investors. It expects up to 5,000 skiers to visit per day.
Chung said in a statement.
"He is playing games with my brother's life," Joggers Nike Women
Last month, his uncle Jang Song Thaek was Nike Men's Socks
Jang is just one of hundreds of thousands North Koreans who have faced death or imprisonment in the North. An estimated 150,000 200,000 people live in brutal conditions in the country's political prisons and forced labor camps, according to rights activists.
Bae's sister, Terri Chung, said her family was outraged by Rodman's comments and he should use his access to the North Korean leader to advocate on Bae's behalf, rather than "hurl outrageous accusations" at her brother.
Rodman has described Kim, who has been in power for just over two years as his "friend".
Pictures released at the resort opening late last year showed just one ancient chair lift for the resort Nike T Shirts For Kids
Kim has presided over two long range rocket launches banned under United Nations sanctions due to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and proliferation efforts a nuclear test and last year threatened to attack South Korea, Japan and the United States.
A source with direct knowledge of Rodman's itinerary said the 52 year old was on a helicopter to the new multimillion dollar resort which is one of Kim's showcase projects.
It is not known whether Rodman has the capacity to fund another trip. North Korea rarely pays for this kind of visit, according to experts on the country.
Defectors from the isolated state have testified to summary executions and rampant human rights abuses on North Korea. They say they were starved, beaten and abused in work camps where many die and that babies born in the camps were killed.
The fading basketball star's trips had been financed by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, although it has now withdrawn its funding and the colorful Rodman used his first visit in 2013 to promote his own vodka brand.
It was not immediately clear if Kim, who is believed to have celebrated his 31st birthday on Wednesday, was with Rodman on the flight. The source declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.
and an assortment of snow equipment that appeared to have been imported despite a United Nations ban on the export of "luxury" goods to the North.
"He is clearly uninformed about Kenneth's case, and he is certainly not in any position to pass judgment," Chung said, adding that Bae never had hostile intentions against the state.
On Wednesday, Rodman led a chorus of North Koreans singing "Happy Birthday" to the leader of the isolated and heavily sanctioned country at a basketball match that Kim attended with his young wife.
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