Dennis Rodman has returned to North Korea, to see his friend Dictator Kim Jong-un, who recently threatened to obliterate the United States with nuclear weapons.
The world's most unlikely diplomat is in the North for a five-day visit, but denied he would try to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary who has been jailed there since last year.
“I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” Rodman said. “I’ve come out here to see my friend,” he said in an allusion to the dictator. “I want to talk about basketball.”
His visit comes just days after the North rescinded its invitation to Robert King, a senior American diplomat who was planning to travel to Pyongyang to try to secure Bae’s release.
At Beijing airport today, Rodman said he will "try to bridge a gap with Americans and North Korea."
Rodman shocked the world when he glowingly praised Kim during a visit to North Korea in February with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Rodman told reporters in Pyongyang that North Koreans “love” Kim Jong-un, adding, “I love him — the guy’s awesome.”
During the earlier trip, Kim and his wife hosted Rodman and his entourage to a lavish, alcohol-fuelled dinner and the former basketball star said he expects the liquor to flow once again on this trip.
But he clarified he did not transport any of his own brand "Bad Boy" vodka, launched in July, as gifts for Kim.
"There should be a lot of Bad Boy vodka there already," he joked.
"They love whisky, they love tequila, they love vodka, stuff like that, so hoping we're going over to have a nice dinner, sit and talk about communication and sports," he said.