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Why is Dennis Rodman taking credit for the North Korea hostage release?

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

You won't believe how Dennis Rodman
sweet-talked North Korea's dictator

Kim Jong Un's BFF Dennis Rodman doesn't want to brag or anything, but he's pretty sure we can thank him for the release of two American hostages in North Korea.

The wannabe-diplomat has visited the dictator several times and claims to have developed a pretty close friendship with him, despite receiving quite a bit of flak in the press for doing so. Now, however, Rodman says the joke's on us because that relationship probably saved two lives.

The former NBA star told TMZ he sent Un a letter back in January asking him to release Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller so that the besties could hang again — knowing the chances of the U.S. approving a diplomatic trip would be nil until that happened.

"I write to you saddened because as you know my trips to the DPRK have provided a lot of problems for me and for my career," Rodman wrote in the letter he shared with TMZ. "I would like to come back to the DPRK as soon as possible to discuss the possible release of the American citizen, Kenneth Bae."

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"It will be almost impossible for me to come if my country doesn't see how compassionate DPRK is," he added.

Just days after Rodman says he sent the letter, the North Korean government released a video proving that Bae was still alive. Coincidence? He doesn't think so.

If the letter actually was sent in January, it would have been shortly after his meltdown on CNN in which he blamed Bae for his own capture. Less than two weeks after that interview, Rodman checked into rehab, and another basketball player on the trip told the press that Un treated the visit like one long frat party, keeping them drunk the entire time.

Does Rodman have a great future ahead of him as a hostage negotiator? It's doubtful, but we are very glad to see Bae and Miller on their way home, regardless of how it happened.

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