Rodman’s N. Korea trip off to uncharacteristic low-key start

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, left, towers over North Korean children during his visit to Mangyongdae, the birth place of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman's current trip is his first since Trump became president. He told reporters in Beijing, as he departed for Pyongyang, that he hopes his trip will "open a door" for Trump. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea has been uncharacteristically low-key so far. On the agenda? Bowling and a visit to the zoo.

There was no clear sign that the former NBA bad boy would meet leader Kim Jong Un, as he did on previous visits to the isolated country. Such a meeting, though, typically wouldn’t be announced in advance.

Rodman talked to a women’s basketball team at a gym Wednesday and visited the birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. He refused to answer questions after his morning outing.

He is scheduled to meet the sports minister, visit a newly built high-tech science complex and the Pyongyang Zoo, and go bowling before he leaves Saturday.

His four past trips in 2013 and 2014 generated a storm of publicity, most of it unfavorable, and did little in terms of diplomacy.

U.S and North Korean officials say Rodman had nothing to do with the release Tuesday of imprisoned American student Otto Warmbier.