Former basketball star Dennis Rodman appears poised to continue his self-appointed mission to improve the relationship between North Korea and the U.S. by, this time, vowing to free imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae.
Bae, a Christian of South Korean descent who acted as a tour guide, has been in North Korean custody since November. North Korea claims that Bae was using his tourism business as a front to perform missionary work in the country. Earlier this month, Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for a range of charges that include undermining the state and smuggling inflammatory literature into the state.
According to a report from celebrity gossip site TMZ.com, Rodman said — amid curse words directed at President Barack Obama — that he is going to North Korea on August 1 in order to get Bae back.
“I’m gonna try and get the guy out,” Rodman told TMZ. “It’s gonna be difficult.”
Days before TMZ caught up with Rodman, he used Twitter to call on leader Kim Jong Un to “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.”
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
Rodman first started his strange relationship with North Korea when he visited the country in February in what he called a “basketball diplomacy” mission.
There he met with “my friend” Kim, who is reportedly a basketball fan. After the visit, Rodman claimed that Kim wasn’t such a bad guy, but that he was just doing what those around him expected him to do.
U.S. officials have also called for Bae’s release, without any results so far.