Former NBA star Dennis Rodman returns to North Korea to 'hang out' with his 'friend' Kim Jong-un


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The Independent Online

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman has touched down in Pyongyang for the second time this year to 'hang out' with the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un.

The retired NBA star, who considers Kim Jong-un a friend, will be spending time with the authoritarian leader in hopes to bridge cultural gaps and have a good time.

There was some speculation that Rodman would be helping to secure the release of Korean-American detainee Kenneth Bae, who has been held since November 2012 on accusations of committing 'hostile acts'.

Talks to release the Christian missionary broke down last week after North Korea revoked its invitation for a US envoy to visit the country and discuss the matter.

Rodman was quick to dismiss suggestions that he would be discussing Bae's release, telling the media that he was not a diplomat.

'I just want to go over there to meet my friend Kim, the marshal, and start a basketball league. Stuff like that,' he said.

Rodman visited the notoriously secretive nation back in March when tensions between the US and North Korea were running high. The two nations were on the brink of conflict after US sanctions following North Korea's third nuclear test in February.

Kim Jong-un is known to be a big fan of basketball and Rodman has described him in the past as 'an awesome kid' and has told the Supreme Leader that he has 'a friend for life'.

The retired basketball player's last visit caused much controversy given the government's record on human rights abuses.