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Rodman Held Kim's Baby Daughter in North Korea, Guardian Says

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Former U.S. Basketball Player Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman, former U.S. basketball player, left, shows pictures of him reportedly with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to media as he arrives at Beijing International Airport on Sept. 7, 2013. Photographer: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Retired U.S. basketball All-Star Dennis Rodman spent time by the sea with Kim Jong Un during a recent visit to North Korea, holding the dictator’s daughter and sharing many meals, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Kim is a good father to his baby daughter Ju-ae, Rodman said in an interview, adding that he spoke with the leader’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, the Guardian reported today. The two discussed holding a U.S.-North Korea basketball game to build trust, according to the newspaper.

Rodman, 52, said he had a relaxing time with Kim’s family, sharing meals and drinks and discussing the ideas for the U.S.- North Korea basketball game, according to the Guardian. Rodman is a “friend to the nation” and can return to North Korea anytime to “rest and enjoy pleasant days,” the official Korean Central News Agency said Sept. 7.

Rodman said on his verified Twitter Inc. account today that he had just returned from North Korea. His trip, the second to the country, began Sept. 3. There was no word on the fate of Kenneth Bae, a U.S tour operator who has been held in North Korea since November.

Speaking to reporters as he passed through Beijing after leaving North Korea, Rodman said it wasn’t his job to talk about Bae, according to CNN. He said to ask President Barack Obama or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about Bae, CNN reported.

Rodman won five National Basketball Association championships and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Nicholas Wadhams in Beijing at nwadhams@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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