Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman is calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to release a U.S. citizen imprisoned for allegedly committing unspecified "hostile acts" against the country's oppressive regime.
"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," Rodman posted to Twitter.
Rodman then referred Twitter followers to a Seattle Times piece that called on Rodman to contact the North Korean leader.
The former Chicago Bulls bad boy made headlines in February when he struck up an unusual friendship with the country’s dictator during a visit aimed at running a basketball camp for Korean children.
He is now requesting the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean American who travelled to visit North Korea last November.
Last week, Bae was sentenced to 15 years hard labour for what North Korea said were crimes against the state.
In the past, prominent Americans including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have travelled to North Korea to try to free detained Americans.
North Korea has in the past used detained American as bargaining counters in dealings with the United States. But the North’s state news agency dismissed speculation it might do so again.
--With files from Reuters