North Korean leader Kim Jong Eun, left, and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang, North Korea,  Feb. 28, 2013. (Jason Mojica/Associated Press)

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday denounced Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea, calling the former NBA player’s appearance a publicity stunt by the Hermit Kingdom’s oppressive regime.

“Instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people, who have been starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights,” Carney said.