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Dennis Rodman arrives in China after North Korea visit

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Sat September 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rodman's trip was his second to North Korea this year
  • "It is not my job to talk about Kenneth Bae," he tells reporters
  • Bae, an American, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in February

(CNN) -- Basketball legend Dennis Rodman arrived in Beijing on Saturday from North Korea without imprisoned American Kenneth Bae.

Rodman, who visited North Korea this week, was tight-lipped about his trip.

An Iranian court threw out a 2011 death sentence for Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine charged with spying. But he was secretly retried in Iran and convicted of "practical collaboration with the U.S. government," his sister told CNN on Friday, April 11. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, she said. Hekmati was detained in August 2011 during a visit to see his grandmother. His family and the Obama administration deny accusations he was spying for the CIA. An Iranian court threw out a 2011 death sentence for Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine charged with spying. But he was secretly retried in Iran and convicted of "practical collaboration with the U.S. government," his sister told CNN on Friday, April 11. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, she said. Hekmati was detained in August 2011 during a visit to see his grandmother. His family and the Obama administration deny accusations he was spying for the CIA.
Americans detained abroad
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Photos: Americans detained abroad Photos: Americans detained abroad
Media frenzy greets Dennis Rod man

"It is not my job to talk about Kenneth Bae," he told reporters gathered at the Beijing airport.

Sporting a silver, shiny cap and a long scarf, the 6-foot-7 inch (2.01 meter) former basketball star broke through the crowd and continued talking.

Dennis Rodman to see 'my friend Kim'
Rodman reveals North Korea secrets

"Ask Obama about that, ask Hillary Clinton about that," Rodman said. "Ask those ---holes."

Other detained Americans

The eccentric Hall of Famer's trip was the second to the hardline Communist state this year to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In March, Rodman was pictured with Kim, an ardent basketball fan, laughing and eating while watching an all-star basketball match.

He was criticized over the trip, which came amid escalating tension with North Korea threatening missile strikes on the U.S., South Korea and Japan.

Rodman has previously made no secret about his desire to help Bae. He once tweeted that he wanted the 30-year-old unchallenged leader of North Korea to "do him a solid" by freeing him.

Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in February after he was convicted of unspecified "hostile acts" against North Korea. The country's state-run Korean Central News Agency said he was arrested late last year after arriving as a tourist in Rason City, a northeastern port near the Chinese border.

Opinion: Rodman just a toy for North Korea's Kim

CNN's David McKenzie contributed to this report

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