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Valley Public Radio Staff
Wed May 8, 2013
'Do Me A Solid,' Diplomat Rodman Says To North Korea's Kim
Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:52 am
America's unlikeliest link to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached out to his friend in a bid to have an American citizen released from one of the communist nation's notorious labor camps.
"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," former basketball star Dennis Rodman tweets.
Bae was last week given a 15-year sentence. According to The Associated Press, he is "a tour operator who was arrested in North Korea in November. The North's Supreme Court sentenced him ... for unspecified 'hostile acts' against the state. In a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday, North Korea said the 44-year-old Washington state man entered the country with a disguised identity."
Rodman, you may recall, was in North Korea in late February and early March with a production crew for Vice Media. He'll be part of an upcoming documentary series on HBO that explores different cultures around the world. While there, Rodman had some one-on-one time with Kim — and sat with the North Korean leader to watch a basketball game involving some players from the Harlem Globetrotters and North Korean athletes.
"The Worm," as Rodman is known, came back from the trip saying of the young Korean leader that "I love the guy. He's awesome. He's so honest." As for the North's terrible record on human rights, Rodman told ABC's This Week with George Stephanapoulos that:
"I hate the fact that he's doing it, but the fact is, you know what, as a human being, though, he let his guard down. He did it one day to me. I didn't talk about that. I understand that."