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Former Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman is on his way back to the U.S. after visiting his friend Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea. Before taking the trip, he made no promises to try to free Kenneth Bae, an American citizen imprisoned there, and on his way back, he said it wasn’t his job to do so.
Rodman left for North Korea earlier this week and even though he had suggested before that he might try to use his influence to get Bae free, he denied that he would do so. “I want to talk about basketball,” he told reporters at the Beijing airport while in transit.
According to The Associated Press, on the way back, Rodman said it wasn’t his job to try to get Bae freed.
“Guess what? That’s not my job to ask about Kenneth Bae,” he said in Beijing. “Ask [President Barack] Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton.”
Rodman was visibly agitated by the questions. “Ask those —holes,” he added.
The NBA Hall of Famer was happy to show off new pictures of himself with Kim, who he befriended earlier this year during a trip with Vice Media. This week’s trip was sponsored by Irish gambling company Paddy Power.
“He’s my friend for life,” Rodman said Saturday. “I don’t care what you guys think about him. I don’t give a s— what the world thinks about him, but he’s my friend.”
Bae has been in prison since November and was sentenced to 15 years. The AFP notes that a U.S. envoy was supposed to arrive in Pyongyang last week to negotiate for his release, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled.