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Rodman thinks he can get North Korea to free Kenneth Bae

Aug 30, 2013, 3:22 PM EDT

Retired U.S. NBA basketball player Rodman is welcomed by Son, Vice Chairman of North Korea's Olympic Committe, as he arrives in Pyongyang Reuters

The Kenneth Bae situation is a delicate one for diplomats. Bae is an American citizen, a tour operator and Christian missionary, who has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by the North Korean government for subversion. Korea has in the past held American citizens as bargaining chips (Bae is the sixth American taken into custody since 2009).

So who do we need to solve this delicate situation? Dennis Rodman.

Okay, not a chance. But he thinks he can help.

Rodman spent time in North Korea with the dictator Kim Jong-un (a trip that didn’t play as well back here in the states), Rodman thinks they are tight and told Shanghaist he could solve this problem (via Eye on Basketball and Reddit).

“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 Hill.

“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.”

“If the Marshal says, ‘Dennis, you know, do you want me to let him loose?’ and then if I actually got him loose – and I’m just saying this out the blue – I’d be the most powerful guy in the world.”

I’m just shaking my head, I’m at a loss for words.

  1. casualcommenter - Aug 30, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    As crazy as it sounds…it couldn’t hurt if he asked. Bae is a prisoner right now with no signs of an imminent release.

    If Rodman talked Kim Jong-un into letting him go as a gesture of good will, then that would mean something positive came out of Rodman’s “association” with the dictator.
    And if Rodman fails…Bae is stuck in the status quo.

    • redbaronx - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      @casualcommenter – I think you’re right. It couldn’t hurt, and I think Kim might actually do it to appease his “friend” Rodman. Then again, maybe they put Rodman in jail on his next NK tour. 😉

  2. dirtydrew - Aug 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM


  3. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    look, i’m not at all saying rodman is the perfect guy for this, but if the people that trash him for going over there had half the ambition he does to spread positive vibes, we wouldn’t need dennis rodman to do this kind of stuff. until then, keep scoffing at him and waiting for the US government to settle that whole situation down – but i’m skeptical that ever happens.

  4. asimonetti88 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Dennis Rodman, International Man of Mystery

  5. adamsjohn714 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    If only we saw N. Korea’s leader in the same light as Rodman. That interview he gave upon his return to the states was shameful.

  6. makeham98 - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Yet I keep thinking, better him than Jimmy Carter.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Comment reflects the dumbing down of society.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 30, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Says the guy speaking in sentence fragments.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Says the complete sentence police who also speaks in sentence fragments.

      • redbaronx - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        @jimeejohnson – And you say this because Jimmy Carter is such a great diplomat? With the exception of the Egypt/Israel peace accord, “Jimmy” rubs most people the wrong way.

        I will say this for Rodman, he may be a goofball, but he’s a good goofball and Kim just might be crazy enough to just say “OK, I’ll release him”. Not many Americans in any position even get to talk to Kim, and if Rodman’s NBA status on Kim’s favorite Championship team (90’s Bulls) means that Kim will listen to Rodman, then I say it’s worth a shot.

        Rodman knows who he is. He knows it sounds insane. But he’s right. It also just might work.

  7. loyalraven - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    How awesome would it be if Rodman actually made it happen! The shock n awe would be priceless.

  8. tannethrill - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    How long before Rodman goes there, says the wrong thing and gets himself thrown in jail?

    • redbaronx - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      @tannethrill – That’s funny! I had the same thought. On the one hand Kim just might free the guy they’re holding. And it’s equally possible Kim might throw Rodman in jail for “betraying” him.

      Who knows what North Koreans think?! lol

  9. ninjapleazee - Aug 30, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Will rodman be rockin the wedding dress also?

  10. midnite2020 - Aug 30, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Dennis please just go sit down no more interviews no more press no more newspapers just go sit down

  11. cantonbound13 - Aug 30, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    How about we swap him out for a few Heat bandwagon fans. That way everyone wins.

    • kingwithringz - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      @canton Why bring my team up on a Rodman article? How about we swap him out for your Mom instead?

      • cantonbound13 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Thanks for proving my point that everyone wins.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        North Koreans won’t take parents of losers.

  12. bobc74 - Aug 30, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Hopefully Rodman doesn’t face the same fate as Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend. (death by execution).

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Wait, what’s the story behind that!?!?

  13. shadows in bloom - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I love how the title says one thing and the story says another. I read crap like this every day on here. No where in the story does Rodman say he can free the hostage.

    • muhangis - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      huh ??

      As Dennis Rodman said:

      “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.”

      “If the Marshal says, ‘Dennis, you know, do you want me to let him loose?’ and then if I actually got him loose –” ..

      It’s black-and-white in a way.

      Meanwhile: Are you a complete idiot? Yes.

  14. 00maltliquor - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    If what bobc74 is saying above is true, I’m not quite sure Dennis really knows exactly who he’s dealing with! It’d be cool if he tried, it wouldn’t hurt, but he better walk on eggshells and not get too comfortable with him!

  15. mannyicey - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Go ‘Head Dennis man,

    Go out and get the hostage released. Heck, if you do that, I might put you on my team on 2k14!

  16. abchome - Aug 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    It doesn’t hurt trying. Just be careful not to be held as yet another prisoner.

  17. drgums - Sep 1, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    Dennis please please go away far away. here is a thought stay in china

  18. raycharlesj - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Reading this article, has reminded me Dennis Rodman has taken drugs Micheal Jackson would have killed to get his hands on, before he overdosed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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