Rodman back to Pyongyang but says won’t bring back jailed American

Posted on by

Flamboyant former basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for a five-day visit, his second this year, but said he had no plans to negotiate the release of a jailed American missionary, Kenneth Bae. Bae, a Korean American who had been working as a Christian missionary in China and North Korea, was arrested in the northeast port city of Rason late last year.

“I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” Rodman told Reuters in a telephone interview before he left Beijing for Pyongyang. “I’m just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a basketball fan and appeared to get on well with Rodman on the earlier visit, with the two of them pictured laughing, eating and drinking together and watching an all-star basketball match.

Wearing his trademark dark sunglasses, the 6-foot 7-inch (2.01 meter) Rodman said, “I’m just trying to go over there to meet my friend Kim, the Marshal. Try to start a basketball league over there, something like that.”

He called Kim, 30, who rules unchallenged in a country where there are an estimated 150,000-200,000 prisoners in work camps, “an awesome kid”.


This entry was posted in , , by Grant Montgomery.

One thought on “Rodman back to Pyongyang but says won’t bring back jailed American

  1. Grant Montgomery on said:

    September 7 Update: Dennis Rodman left North Korea Saturday, professing his affection for autocratic leader Kim Jong Un and angrily rejecting calls to lobby for the release of imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae.

    A defiant Dennis Rodman called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un his “friend for life,” while using expletives to refer to President Obama and former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, after his four-day stay.

    Previously, Rodman had urged Kim to release Bae, and had said he would ask Kim to do so on his second trip to the isolated nation this year. Sporting a silver, sequined, beret-style hat and shouting obscenities at journalists, Dennis Rodman remained his usual colorful self after arriving at Beijing’s airport.

    Expressing anger at reporters’ questions about Bae, he told them to ask Obama and Clinton, using an expletive to refer to them. Earlier, toting an unlit cigar, Rodman showed photographs of himself together with Kim, the third generation of North Korea’s ruling family dynasty. Kim had enjoyed Rodman’s newly launched Bad Boy brand vodka, Rodman said.

    He and Kim had discussed “peace” and “sports,” and Rodman revealed his next step in his self-appointed basketball diplomacy mission with the North. Pointing to a new T-shirt with a basketball logo, Rodman said, “I am doing this game here, an international game in North Korea, with their team and my team, hopefully it can do some really good stuff.”

    Rodman remained defiant about his highly unlikely friendship with the North Korean leader, whom he first met in February. “He’s my friend for life. I don’t care what you guys think about him. I don’t give a shit what people around the world think about him,” he said. “He’s my friend, and you saw it on the pictures, he’s my friend.”

    After three days of silence about Rodman’s activities inside the highly isolated nation, the North’s state news agency, KCNA, confirmed that Rodman had met Kim. Kim called Rodman a “friend to the nation” and invited him to visit anytime to “rest and enjoy pleasant days,” the agency reported.

One reference to “Rodman back to Pyongyang but says won’t bring back jailed American

  1. […] Kim Jong Un, was in the secretive country again this past week, purportedly to meet his “friend Kim, the Marshal” and perhaps also, to negotiate for the release of Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen detained […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.