Basketball star Dennis Rodman has held tryouts for a North Korean team to face a dozen NBA veterans in an exhibition game on leader Kim Jong Un's birthday next month - though he has not convinced all the players on the US team that it is safe to go to Pyongyang.
The flamboyant Hall of Famer said plans for the January 8 game are moving ahead but some of the 12 Americans he wants are afraid to come.
Some foreign analysts say the dramatic purge and execution of Kim's once-powerful uncle less than a week ago has cast doubt on Kim's future, but North Korean officials say there is no instability and Kim remains firmly in control.
Rodman chomps on a cigar as he watches some local talent
Rodman said: "You know, they're still afraid to come here, but I'm just telling them, you know, don't be afraid man, it's all love, it's all love here.
"I understand what's going on with the political stuff, and I say, I don't go into that venture, I'm just doing one thing for these kids here, and for this country, and for my country, and for the world pretty much."
Rodman, who arrived in Pyongyang yesterday, said he expects to announce the teams soon. He also said he is planning another game in June.