Back in May, basketball Hall of Famer and sometime South Florida resident Deniis Rodman asked his "friend for life" Kim Jong-un to release Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
North Korea caught Bae in the country in 2012 with a hard drive containing pictures of starving orphans and accused him of "hostile acts against the republic" -- trying to organize a coup. But Bae's family and U.S. authorities say he was doing Christian missionary work.
I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him "Kim", to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) May 7, 2013
But today, Rodman completed a 5-day return visit to North Korea and it didn't sound like Bae was at the top of his agenda.
Rodman had told reporters last week that this would be another "basketball diplomacy" trip -- similar to his surprise trip coordinated by Vice magazine last year -- but this one sponsored by an Irish gambling company called Paddy Power. He told Reuters the purpose was not to discuss Bae.
Reporters talked to him again today after he flew from North Korea to China. The Associated Press reported him saying:
"Guess what? That's not my job to ask about Kenneth Bae. Ask Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton. Ask those assholes."
According to USA Today, North Korea's news agency reported that Rodman and Kim "had a 'cordial talk,' watched a basketball game together, and Kim hosted a banquet for Rodman, together with Kim's wife, Ri Sol Ju" and that "China's state news agency, Xinhua, said Rodman's party would give a basketball clinic, watch tae kwon do and women's soccer, and visit the Mount Kumgang resort."
Of the possibly-crazy dictator who has threatened nuclear attacks, Rodman said "He's my friend for life. I don't care what you guys think about him. I don't give a shit what the world thinks about him, but he's my friend."
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