Score one for ‘basketball diplomacy:’ Rodman reveals birth of Kim Jong-un’s daughter

Updated
Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman, center, walks past journalists upon arriving at the Beijing capital airport in Beijing, China, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.
Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman, center, walks past journalists upon arriving at the Beijing capital airport in Beijing, China, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.
Ng Han Guan/AP

Basketball superstar Dennis Rodman has a state secret to spill: the famously reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has a baby daughter.

“I held their baby Ju-ae and spoke with Ms Ri [Sol-Ju] as well,” Rodman told The Guardian Sunday after a visit to North Korea. “He’s a good dad and has a beautiful family.”

Rumors that Kim’s wife was expecting swirled last year after state media published photos showing her in a long coat that was thought to disguise a baby bump. Ri Sol, Kim’s wife, then went out of public view for several months, returning last October.

North Korean state media had not confirmed the new addition to the ruling family.

It is Rodman’s second visit to the impoverished, nuclear-armed south Asian nation. He was pictured enjoying a basketball game with Kim in February, while North Korea threatened missile strikes against the U.S. and South Korea.

Rodman calls his mission “basketball diplomacy,” and told the Guardian that he and Kim plan to play “a historic friendship basketball game” between the two nations.

Asked by reporters at the Beijing airport whether the two discussed freeing American citizen Kenneth Bae, who has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, in North Korea, Rodman bristled.

“It is not my job to talk about Kenneth Bae,” he said. “Ask Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton about that. Ask those —holes.”

Score one for 'basketball diplomacy:' Rodman reveals birth of Kim Jong-un's daughter

Updated