It was easy for people to witness former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s handiwork on the basketball court, but some of his latest’s achievements have not been so apparent.
That could be one reason the former Chicago Bulls player decided to claim that he helped secure the sudden release of imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae from a North Korean labor camp, the Daily Mail reports, citing a report at TMZ.
Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who had been held prisoner in North Korea for months, arrived at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington state late Saturday, ABC News reports.
Before they were freed, Rodman told TMZ he sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in January and believes that his trips to the communist country influenced Bae’s release. The letter, sent about two weeks after he returned to the United States from a fourth trek to North Korea in January, pleads with the leader to release the missionary.
“I write to you saddened because as you know my trips to the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] have provided a lot of problems for me and for my career,” wrote Rodman in the letter obtained by TMZ. “I would like to come back … to discuss the possible release of the American citizen, Kenneth Bae.”
Previously, the 53-year-old player said he visited Korea in late 2013 “for fun, not politics.” He spent four days training the isolated country’s national basketball team and stayed at the Masikryong Ski Resort with the “most beautiful” slopes he’d ever seen, Rodman wrote in the Jan. 23 letter, according to the report.
He also noted in the letter that he would not be able to return for his basketball outreach if the North Korean government did not release Bae, and reportedly signed off calling Kim Jong Un his “friend for life.”
Read more at the Daily Mail.