- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2013

NBA legend Dennis Rodman said he’s headed back to North Korea for another up-front-and-close meeting with dictator Kim Jong-un to talk about freeing a jailed American.

“I’ll be back over there,” Mr. Rodman said, in a Friday interview with TMZ. “I’m going to try to get the guy out.”

Mr. Rodman was referring to jailed Kenneth Bae, a Washington-state resident who’s been sentenced to 15 years of hard time by North Korea’s high court. The court just Friday said Mr. Bae was guilty of posing as a missionary to “infiltrate 250 students” to “bring down [the] government while conducting a malignant smear campaign,” earlier reports stated.

SEE ALSO: North Korea releases details of why American was sentenced to hard labor

Mr. Rodman — who visited and buddied with the North Korean leader in February — admitted it might be a challenge to win Mr. Bae’s release. But he’s confident his friendship with the leader would prevail.

“It’s going to be difficult because I think his nationality, because of his background, I think it’s a whole different situation,” Mr. Rodman said, speaking to Mr. Bae’s Korean-American ethnic background, in the TMZ report. “[But] I don’t do politics. Like I said, he’s my friend, that’s it.”

**FILE** This 1988 photo provided by Bobby Lee shows Kenneth Bae (right) and Mr. Lee together when they were freshmen at the University of Oregon. Bae, detained for nearly six months in North Korea, has been sentenced to 15 years of "compulsory labor" for unspecified crimes against the state, Pyongyang announced on May 2, 2013. (Associated Press/The Register-Guard)
**FILE** This 1988 photo provided by Bobby Lee shows Kenneth Bae (right) ... more >

In February, in fact, Mr. Rodman referred to the Korean leader as his “friend for life.”