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Dennis Rodman headed back to North Korea

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Dennis Rodman is playing ambassador again as he's currently on his way to North Korea to visit the communist nation's leader, Kim Jong-Un.

“I'm going to North Korea to meet my friend Kim,” he said to reporters at Beijing's airport. “It's a friendly gesture.”

“I just want to meet my friend Kim, the marshal, and start a basketball league over there. I have not been promised anything,” he added.

Speculation arose that Rodman may be headed to North Korea to help foster negotiations to free Kenneth Bae -- the detained American who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for committing “hostile acts” against North Korea. Officials recently revoked an invitation to a US envoy (which had the hopes of negotiating Bae's freedom), and perhaps Rodman feels he can be a better facilitator.

He said he wouldn't bring up the controversial case, but he tweeted this in May.

Rodman first visited Kim Jong-Un, a basketball fan, this past February in a trip that drew criticism due to the military tension between the US and North Korea.

Rodman described his latest trip as a “basketball diplomacy tour,” but he also told USAToday that he just wants to go there to help “bridge the gap with Americans and North Korea, just 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.”

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