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Dennis Rodman Asks North Korea's Kim Jong Un to Release Kenneth Bae

Photo courtesy of Herald Sun
Photo courtesy of Herald Sun
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

The Internet buzzed when NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman visited North Korea in March and chatted up dictator Kim Jong Un. "The Worm" is now trying to put his relationship with the North Korean leader to good use in an effort to get a detained American man freed. 

Rodman sent out a tweet on Tuesday saying that he wanted Kim Jong Un to do him "a solid" by releasing Kenneth Bae from custody in North Korea.

According to CNN.com, Bae is a Korean-American who was arrested in North Korea back in November. He has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor due to "hostile acts" against North Korea. Those acts reportedly included entering North Korea under a false identity.

However, as noted in the CNN report, U.S. officials don't exactly know all the details, as North Korean authorities "provided no details of the allegations."

Rodman's seemingly good deed didn't come unprovoked, however, as an article by Thanh Tan of The Seattle Times called for Rodman to use his friendship with Kim Jong Un as a vehicle to get Bae freed. According to Rodman on Twitter, he obliged once he read Tan's article.

There have been mixed reactions from Americans regarding Rodman's visit to North Korea, as he was friendly with a man who is considered one of the United States' biggest enemies. According to Katie Davies and Nina Golgowski of The Daily Mail, Rodman went so far as to call Kim Jong Un his "friend for life."

While that statement might have rubbed some people the wrong way, it seems Rodman is genuine about trying to help Bae. It's unclear if tweeting about it will influence Kim Jong Un to change his mind, but perhaps a little "Rodman diplomacy" will go a long way toward helping Bae get back home.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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