(CBS Seattle) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for the second time this year, but it’s unclear whether he will work for the release of a Lynnwood man while he’s there.
Rodman landed in Pyongyang Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Rodman said the purpose of his trip was to hang out with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and to prove that America can have good relations with North Korea. “I just want to meet my friend Kim, the marshal, and start a basketball league over there or something like that,” Rodman told reporters before his trip. “I have not been promised anything. I am just going there as a friendly gesture.”
Earlier this year, Rodman did call on North Korea to release Bae when he tweeted “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.” During Rodman’s trip in February, he and Kim watched a basketball game and dined together. It has not been confirmed if or when Rodman will meet Kim during this trip, according to the AP. This trip, Rodman says, is not a diplomatic one.
Bae, 45, was arrested last November and in April he was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for what North Korea’s state media called “hostile acts.” Bae was recently moved to a hospital and his family is concerned about his worsening health. Friday, Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring Bae home. At least six Americans have been held in North Korea since 2009, but have all been allowed to leave without serving their full sentences.
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