Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea on Tuesday for his second so-called "basketball diplomacy tour." And, Rodman says, the trip is definitely about basketball and not about the imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae, a missionary and tour guide who was sentenced earlier this year to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the country.
Speaking to Reuters from Beijing, Rodman said, "I've come out here to see my friend (Kim Jong-un) - and I want to talk about basketball." He added, "I'm not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae...I'm just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour." Since Rodman's first trip to North Korea earlier this year, freeing Kenneth Bae has been part of the former athlete's stated mission for a return trip. Speaking to Huffpost Live, Rodman indicated as late as last week that he has a solid motivation for trying to free Bae — it'd make everyone think he's awesome:
"I will definitely ask for Kenneth Bae's release...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."
Here's the whole interview, which, fair warning, begins with a giant plug for Rodman's new vodka line: