According to Reuters, there had been speculation that Rodman, who met Kim in March, would secure the release of Kenneth Bae, who was jailed for 15 years for trying to overthrow the North Korean government. However, that does not appear to be Rodman’s objective.
“I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” Rodman told Reuters from Beijing, the traditional jumping-off point for flights into Pyongyang. “I’m just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour.”
“I just want to meet my friend Kim, the marshal, and start a basketball league over there,” Rodman told the Associated Press. “I have not been promised anything. I am just going there as a friendly gesture.
“I’m just going over there to have a good time and try to bridge the gap with Americans and North Koreans,” Rodman added. “Just let’s let people see in America that it’s not a bad thing to go to North Korea and have a good time and meet new people.”
Kim, the third of his line to rule North Korea, is a basketball fan and appeared to get on well with Rodman on the earlier visit, with the two of them pictured laughing, eating and drinking together and watching an all-star basketball match.
Rodman’s latest trip is being sponsored by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. His arrival was announced on North Korean news agency KCNA, which did not provide any further details of the trip.