By Julian Hattem - 09/07/13 02:50 PM EDT
After five days in North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman left with a handful of pictures with leader Kim Jong Un but no sign of an American who has been imprisoned in the country for months.
Rodman had previously spoken on behalf of imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae, a missionary who has been in jail in North Korea since November, but he touched down in Beijing on Saturday on his own, according to reports. He seemed to have changed his perspective on his role in the deliberations as well.
Rodman claims to have become friends with Kim Jong Un, the mysterious young leader of North Korea.
In May, Rodman asked Kim on Twitter to “do [him] a solid” and release Bae.
At the airport in Beijing, Rodman showed reporters a number of photos that reportedly showed him laughing and talking with Kim.
“He's my friend for life,” Rodman said. “I don't care what you guys think about him.”
The trip was Rodman’s second to North Korea in recent months.
During his first foray to the nation, accompanyed by an HBO documentary crew in February, he and Kim watched a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game.
North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, reported that basketball was on the agenda for this trip as well. According to a brief report, Rodman and Kim watched another basketball game and ate dinner together.