News

Dennis Rodman: ‘Take me’ instead of Kenneth Bae

Dennis Rodman: ‘Take me’ instead of Kenneth Bae

TAKE ME: Dennis Rodman, seen here during his recent trip to North Korea, says he would trade places with American Kenneth Bae. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former basketball star Dennis Rodman said on Friday he was willing to trade places with Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, the next time he visits his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Rodman, in a live interview with CNN from a substance abuse rehabilitation facility in the New York City area, said he felt sympathy for Bae’s family.

Earlier this month, an agitated, drunken Rodman gave an interview with CNN from North Korea in which he suggested that Bae was responsible for his imprisonment.

Rodman, who has made four trips to North Korea, said he knew nothing of Bae’s case when he first mentioned him – and still does not.

“I have sympathy – I don’t want anyone in any country or anywhere in the world to be hostage for something maybe they did or did not do,” Rodman said in Friday’s interview.

PHOTOS: Dennis Rodman through the years | Dennis Rodman’s North Korean basketball game 

“I would do anything … if they said, ‘We’ll take Dennis Rodman and we’ll let Kenneth Bae go’, you know what? I’d do that, straight ahead. Take me. I would do that.”

He also offered to take his CNN interviewer, Chris Cuomo, to North Korea with him.

Bae was detained in North Korea in 2012 while leading a tour group and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for subversion.

Rodman was one of the National Basketball Association’s top rebounders during his 1986-2000 career and earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.

He played for five teams and his flamboyant personality, tattoos, body piercings and multi-colored hair at times outshone his skills.

On his January trip Rodman took a contingent of other former NBA players for an exhibition game in Pyongyang. He sang “Happy Birthday” at a celebration marking the 31st birthday of Kim, who he called his best friend and a great leader.

Rodman checked into the rehab center shortly after returning from North Korea earlier this month.

(Reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Recent Headlines

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

Fresh
frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Black Friday, National

PHOTOS: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fresh
AP353037153391_2

The 88th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade stepped off in NYC, officially ushering in the holiday season.

in Sports

Johnson shines in Detroit’s win over chicago

Fresh
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) gets set against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.

DETROIT (AP) — Calvin Johnson caught 11 passes for 146 yards with a pair of first-half touchdowns, and the Detroit…

in National

Thanksgiving grease cooks up plumbing disasters

turkey

Thanksgiving is a royal pain in the U.S. drain.

in Local

Bellingham coffee stand robbed at gunpoint

police lights

An I Wana Moka employee was told to run by the armed man