Former NBA star Dennis Rodman criticized for bizarre outburst

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman criticized for bizarre outburst

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Dennis Rodman lashes out at CNN's Chris Cuomo on Kenneth Bae question, Photo Credit: CNN , Photo Date: January 7, 2014 Dennis Rodman lashes out at CNN's Chris Cuomo on Kenneth Bae question, Photo Credit: CNN , Photo Date: January 7, 2014

(CNN) -- Eccentric basketball star Dennis Rodman's bizarre outburst about an American citizen jailed in North Korea has drawn widespread criticism, including from the prisoner's family.

Rodman is in North Korea with other former NBA players for a basketball game against a local team that's due to take place Wednesday, the birthday of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman, 52, who visited North Korea three times previously in the past year, describes Kim as a beloved friend, shrugging off the regime's heavily criticized human rights record.

During an exclusive interview from Pyongyang on Tuesday, he reacted angrily to a question from Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day" about whether he was planning to ask North Korean leaders about Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen who was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp by North Korea last year on charges he intended to topple the government through religious activities.

Rodman suggested that Bae, a Korean-American whose health has deteriorated during his imprisonment, had done something wrong, but did not specify what.

"Do you understand what he did in this country?" Rodman asked Cuomo. "No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why?"

"I would love to speak on this," Rodman said, before abruptly switching topic to talk about how his fellow basketball players had left their families behind to come to North Korea for the exhibition game.

See the reaction to Rodman's comments from Kenneth Bae's family

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