The Rodman Doctrine continues: former basketball star may be returning to North Korea


Dennis Rodman says that he may be returning to North Korea to secure the release of American missionary Kenneth Bae.


Andrew H. Walker

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman may be returning to North Korea to save American missionary Kenneth Bae. 

In an interview with HuffPost Live, Rodman hinted at his return to the Hermit Kingdom to speak with his friend Kim Jong Un.

"I gave [Kim Jong-un] a great indication of when I’m going to Beijing soon — that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from North Korea. So basically, you know, I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking to him soon," Rodman told HuffPost Live.

"I will definitely ask for Kenneth Bae’s release," he said. "I will say, ‘Marshal, why is this guy held hostage?’ I could try and soften it up in that way."

Rodman mused that he'd be considered the most powerful man in the world if he got Bae freed.

US envoy Robert King was expected to arrive in North Korea to negotiate Bae's release today but the visit was abruptly cancelled Friday. North Korea reportedly withdrew the invitation.

Bae was arrested in North Korea in November 2012 and was convicted for "hostile acts" in April.

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Rodman was the first American to meet North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un.

The meeting between the talented rebounder and the young dictator was unexpected. Kim apparently showed up at a basketball game in Pyongyang and sat next to Rodman, later inviting him for a lavish dinner.

His later descriptions of the "kid" and his leadership style were called "perhaps the greatest disparity between a subject's import and an interviewee's intellect in televised American history."

"I don't condone what he does, but he's my friend," Rodman said.

In March, Rodman said that he was planning on a "vacation" with Kim for this August. That didn't happen but it's still not too late to save Bae.