Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is promising to return to North Korea in August and do his best to return with currently imprisoned tour operator Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last week by North Korea’s Supreme Court for unspecified hostile acts against the state. On Sunday North Korea said the 44-year-old Washington state man entered the country with a disguised identity.
In February Rodman made headlines when he visited the communist country and was regularly photographed with North Korea’s 30 year old leader Kim Jong Un. During the visit the two men took in an exhibition basketball game between North Korean and U.S. players and appeared to be getting along like old friends.
The visit was complete with high fives – elaborate feasts and even a warm embrace upon Rodman’s departure, making many in the U.S. (except for Jay Z & Beyonce) cringe at the idea of an American schmoozing with one of the worlds most notorious communist leaders who controls a large encampment of concentration camps across the impoverished country – which at last count imprisoned, in barbaric fashion, nearly 300,000 people who have either expressed dissent, or is related to someone who expressed dissent, toward the North Korean government.
But others familiar with the situation had to admit the following in the aftermath of Rodman’s visit: ‘There is nobody at the CIA who can tell you more personally about Kim Jong Un than Dennis Rodman.” While most opinions of Rodman’s upcoming attempt to free Bae will be cynical in nature – it’s interesting to imagine a hypothetical Clinton or Carter attempt to meet with Jong Un and negotiate for the freedom of an American citizen. Many people, in particular American media outlets, would consider such an endeavor to be more credit worthy but considering his recent sleep over with Jong Un, and considering the young age of the N Korean dictator and the relative old age of those two ultra caucasian white guys, Clinton and/or Carter – I actually believe Rodman is in a better position to ask for a favor.
It’s for that reason that there’s even a remote possibility that Rodman can actually pull of the diplomatic upset of the century by returning home with or at least setting up the release of Bae. Earlier this week Rodman began his setup by posting to his Twitter account – insinuating he would like for Jong Un to “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.”
TMZ caught Dennis on the street and asked him about his upcoming August 1 trip back to North Korea and the possibility of working out an arrangement to have Bae released:
“I’m going to try and get the guy out,” Rodman said of Bae. “It’s going to be difficult. We got a black president (who) can’t even go talk to (Jong Un) … Obama can’t do shit, I don’t know why he won’t go talk to him. That black guy called [garbled expletive] Obama? Fuck him!”
During the TMZ interview below Rodman also took credit for North Korea re-shelving two ICBM’s from a launch site following his February trip.