Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is expected to visit North Korea Tuesday, two officials from that country confirmed to CNN.

Rodman was spotted by reporters at Beijing International Airport, China but refused to respond to questions put to him. The NBA Hall Of Famer would be visiting Pyongyang at this tense moment between Washington and Pyongyang over the nuclear threat. Four Americans are currently being detained in North Korea.

No reason was given for the visit

The purpose of the former basketball player’s visit to the isolated country is not quite clear, but Rodman – a former contestant on Donald Trump’s presidency reality TV show, known as "Celebrity Apprentice," is among the few Americans to have met Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader.

Officials from North Korea confirmed to CNN that Rodman is expected in Pyongyang Tuesday but declined comments on the purpose of the visit.

The latest visit on Tuesday would be the fifth by Rodman to the secretive country. The former NBA star had visited the country three times between 2013 and 2014. A US official confirmed that the State Department was notified of Rodman’s planned travel to North Korea, but maintained he is not on an official visit.

Rodman's frequent trip to North Korea

The last time Rodman visited the country was in January 2014, when he and a group of former basketball players participated in an international basketball exhibition which was marked as a birthday gift for Kim Jong Un, who is a big time basketball fan.

The NBA Hall of Famer was videoed leading a group of other singers to sing-along of Happy Birthday to Kim, North Korean leader, a man he described a friend and a very nice guy but is considered internationally as a tyrant dictator who single-handedly approved the execution of his own uncle.

Rodman had told reporters that his trip for Kim’s birthday was a great idea for the world, and has repeatedly defended his frequent trip to the nuclear-armed nation as “basketball diplomacy,” program.

A trip that generated negative headlines

His 2014 trip made negative headlines in the media which angered Rodman during an interview with CNN. He was highly criticized in the US and beyond for not raising the issue of the US citizen Kenneth Bae who spent 735 days in North Korean prison before he was freed.

Rodman stressed that he was not a diplomat, and it was not his duty to discuss Bae, but Bae praised Rodman for his stance during his interview as soon as he was released, he said that brought the attention to his case and eventually led to his release.

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