Rodman has message from North Korean leader to Obama: Call me
Add wannabe diplomat-ambassador to Dennis Rodman's resume.
The flamboyant Hall of Famer and former Detroit Pistons "Bad Boy" and member of the Chicago Bulls returned from a trip to North Korea last week with the Harlem Globetrotters where he spent several hours over the course of two days with avowed basketball fan and dictator, Kim Jong Un.
On Sunday, it seemed to matter little to Rodman that recent underground nuclear tests have further strained ties between the United States and North Korea.
Rodman appeared on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and called the North Korean leader his friend. He said the 28-year-old leader is just a kid and doesn't want to go to war.
And Rodman delivered a message to President Barack Obama.
"He wants Obama to do one thing -- call him," Rodman told Stephanopoulos, who reminded the 51-year-old that Kim has threatened to annihilate the United States
After a U.N. Security Council resolution in January condemned the recent rocket launch, North Korea released a statement saying that "settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words."
Rodman said Kim "loves basketball. Obama loves basketball. Let's start there. Let's start there."
Stephanopoulos pressed Rodman on Kim's human-rights record. Rodman avoided answering those questions directly, blaming much of that country's problems on Kim's father. But he did say the younger Kim "loves power. He loves control."
Rodman called Kim a great leader, according to reports, because "what I saw in that country ... I saw people respect him and his family."
He didn't apologize for Kim sending thousands to prison camps. Rodman said that Kim is "a good guy to me. He's my friend. I don't condone what he does, but as far as a person to person, he's my friend. ...of North Koreans."
Rodman even compared Kim to former President Bill Clinton.
"We have presidents over here that do the same thing, right? It's amazing that Bill Clinton can have sex with his secretary, get away with it and still be in power."
Rodman is thought to be the first American to meet with Kim since he took power after his father, Kim Jong Il died.
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