Former basketball star Dennis Rodman returned to North Korea on Tuesday for what he termed a “basketball diplomacy” tour, though he stressed that he was not there to discuss Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in the country, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
“I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” Rodman told Reuters of his five-day trip. “I’m just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour.”
“I’m just trying to go over there to meet my friend Kim, the Marshal,” Rodman said to reporters in Beijing’s airport. “Try to start a basketball league over there, something like that.”
Rodman first traveled to North Korea in February, a visit that drew harsh criticism from everybody from John Kerry to colleague Shaquille O’Neal. Rodman foreshadowed his returned in April, when he said he planned to head back “just to have some fun.”
Bae was convicted for trying to overthrow the North Korean government and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
Watch scenes from his escapade below, via Reuters:
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