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The Latest: Potcoin sponsoring Rodman's North Korea trip

Associated Press logo Associated Press 13/06/2017
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, center, arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. North Korea is expecting another visit by Rodman on Tuesday in what would be his first to the country since President Donald Trump took office. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) © The Associated Press Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, center, arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. North Korea is expecting another visit by Rodman on Tuesday in what would be his first to the country since President Donald Trump took office. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING — The latest developments on Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

A cryptocurrency for legalized marijuana is sponsoring former NBA star Dennis Rodman's latest trip to North Korea.

Rodman tweeted Tuesday "I'm back! Thanks to my sponsor Potcoin.com" with a photo of himself holding an itinerary from the North Korean airline Air Koryo.

He earlier passed through immigration at Beijing's airport, from where he was expected to fly to North Korea.

A statement issued by a Rodman publicist said Rodman is in the rare position of being friends with both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Rodman was a cast member on two seasons of Trump's Celebrity Apprentice.

The statement quotes Rodman as saying: "I want to thank the folks at PotCoin. They realized the importance of this trip and made it all possible for me."

12:30 p.m.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman says he's going to North Korea to try to open a door.

He told reporters at Beijing airport Tuesday that he believes President Donald Trump is happy with his visit "to accomplish something we both need."

Rodman has traveled to North Korea before, though he has been criticized for comments he made on previous trips.

Asked if he would talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about several Americans detained there, he said "that's not my purpose right now."

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Noon

A senior U.S. government official has said the U.S. wishes former NBA star Dennis Rodman well on his trip to North Korea.

Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon also told reporters in Tokyo that the U.S. has issued travel warnings to Americans suggesting they not travel to North Korea for their own safety.

Rodman is heading to North Korea later Tuesday from Beijing. He has visited several times before.

Shannon is in Tokyo to meet Japanese officials before heading to South Korea.

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11:30 a.m.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been spotted at Beijing airport, from where he is expected to board a flight to North Korea.

He was wearing sunglasses in a black T-shirt as he walked through media cameras and headed to a first-class lounge.

Rodman has made several visits to North Korea. This is his first since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

His entourage included Joseph Terwilliger, a professor who has accompanied Rodman on previous trips to North Korea.

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10:20 a.m.

North Korea is expecting another visit by former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman.

He's made several visits to the country, but has been roundly criticized for insensitive comments and for regaling leader Kim Jong Un with "Happy Birthday" in 2014. On the same trip, he suggested an American missionary was at fault for his own imprisonment in North Korea, remarks for which he later apologized.

A foreign ministry official who spoke to the AP in Pyongyang confirmed Rodman was expected to arrive Tuesday but could not provide details. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the ministry had not issued a formal statement.

It would be Rodman's first visit to the country since President Donald Trump took office.

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