Dennis Rodman admitted he was "sorry" that he could not help out in the predicament of an American missionary being detained in North Korea.
The former NBA star has been spending time in North Korea while arranging for a group of retired NBA players and streetballers to stage an exhibition match to celebrate the birthday of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodman had been receiving criticism for not using his relationship with the head of the secretive state to help with the cause of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary who has been held for over a year on accusations of "anti-state crimes" and is said to be in poor health.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn't do anything," Rodman is quoted as saying by ESPN after touching down at Beijing airport.
"It's not my fault. I'm sorry. I just want to do some good stuff, that's all I want to do."
Rodman's decision to stage the match and his unlikely friendship with Kim Jong Un, which saw the ex-Detroit Piston sing Happy Birthday to him at the event in the Pyongyang arena, has led to further criticism from some commenters, owing to North Korea's poor human rights record.
However, the 52-year-old insisted his trips were not burdened with politics and insisted he was only aiming to highlight "good things" and "getting along" by organising the exhibition match.
Rodman also confirmed he would be returning to the country in a month's time, but did not give any details as to why or how long for.
"This is not a bad deal. I want to show people that no matter what's going on in the world, for one day, just one day, no politics, not all that stuff," he added.
"I'm sorry for all the people and what's going on, I'm sorry. I'm not the president, I'm not an ambassador, I'm just an individual that wants to show the world the fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day."