Rodman Returns to N. Korea to Hang With the 'Marshal'

Jailed American won't be discussed, he says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2013 2:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Dennis Rodman is back in Pyongyang, but the family of imprisoned American Kenneth Bae shouldn't get their hopes up: The former NBA star says the five-day visit is about basketball and hanging out with his "awesome" buddy Kim Jong Un, not diplomacy. "I'm not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae," Rodman told Reuters before boarding a flight in Beijing. "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." Rodman watched a basketball game with the North Korean leader during his first visit to the country earlier this year and the pair were seen laughing and joking.

"I'm not a diplomat," Rodman told reporters, though he asked Kim earlier this year to "do him a solid" and free Bae, who has been moved from a prison camp to hospital. In a Huffington Post interview last week, Rodman said, "If the Marshal says, 'Dennis, you know, do you want me to let him loose?' and then if I actually got him loose—and I'm just saying this out the blue—I'd be the most powerful guy in the world." Rodman's return to Pyongyang is being sponsored by Irish betting firm Paddy Power.

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman with North Korea's Kim Jong Un at a basketball game earlier this year.
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman with North Korea's Kim Jong Un at a basketball game earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Vice.com via HBO)
Dennis Rodman is surrounded by media as he arrives at the departure hall of Beijing International Capital Airport today.
Dennis Rodman is surrounded by media as he arrives at the departure hall of Beijing International Capital Airport today.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrives at the departure hall of Beijing International Capital Airport today.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrives at the departure hall of Beijing International Capital Airport today.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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