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TODAY   |  January 09, 2014

Rodman apologizes for remarks on detained American

The former NBA star is saying sorry this morning for comments he made about Kenneth Bae, the American being detained in North Korea. Rodman is in North Korea to celebrate Kim Jong Un’s birthday. NBC’s Ian Williams reports from Beijing.

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>> dennis rod man apologizing for comments he made about kenneth bay. ian williams is in beijing with the latest this morning. ian, good morning.

>> good morning to you, willie. in the cold and sober light of morning, rodman seems to have recognized that he simply went too far, even by his outrageous standards. in a whitten statement today, rodman said i want to apologize. i take full responsibility. he said he'd been drunk and stressed when he suggested in a burl live, intelligible interview that ken earth bae must have done something wrong to be imprisoned in north korea .

>> no, i got it. if you want to say what kenneth bae .

>> reporter: comments that shocked and appalled bae 's sister.

>> this is not a game. he can play a basketball game with his own life but this is about a man's life that's on the line hear.

>> reporter: bae has been held for 14 months and is said to be in poor health. rodman is marking kim jong -un's 31st birthday. before the game he gave a raspy and surreal rendition of "happy birthday," his performance quickly becoming the butt of chat show chokes jokes.

>> please accept our gift of dennis rodman . no returns!

>> reporter: of course bae east family doesn't see it as a laughing matter. rodman will be coming back through beijing here tomorrow after his laptest round that he calls basketball diplomacy that turned out to be anything but.

>> thanks so much.