Beijing, China (4E) – Former NBA star Dennis Rodman ended his five-day visit to North Korea on Saturday without helping secure the release of a Korean-American citizen imprisoned by his friend, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Rodman told reporters before leaving a hotel in Pyongyang for Beijing, China that he was sorry for Kenneth Bae, a missionary sentenced by North Korean authorities to 15 years imprisonment in April for alleged hostile acts to the communist country.
In Beijing, reporters asked Rodman if he asked Kim to free Bae, 45. He replied that they should ask President Obama or former State Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Rodman said he visited North Korea for the second time as an athlete and he talked with Kim about sports and the North Korean team during their meeting.
Reporting on the meeting, the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency said Kim and Rodman had a cordial talk.
Before Rodman’s arrival in North Korea, Pyongyang canceled an invitation to the U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues, Robert King, who was supposed to negotiate the release of Bae. Pyongyang cited as reason for the cancellation the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercise.