Rodman: N. Korea leader wants Obama to call
by David Jackson, USA TODAY
Dennis Rodman brought back a message to President Obama from North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un.
Kim “wants Obama to do one thing — call him,” Rodman said during an interview on ABC’s This Week about the former basketball star’s recent visit to North Korea.
Don’t expect Obama and Kim to become phone buddies any time soon.
The United States has sought to isolate North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, including a series of nuclear and missile tests.
Rodman, who visited North Korea along with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, is believed to be the first American to meet with the 28-year-old Kim since he replaced father Kim Jong Il after the latter’s death.
Rodman, who spent two days with Kim, told ABC he bonded with the North Korean over their mutual love of basketball.
“I love him,” Rodman said. “The guy’s awesome.”
Rodman dodged repeated questions from This Week host George Stephanopoulos about North Korea’s poor human rights records, including political prisons and lack of free speech. At one point, Rodman said, “this is all politics, right?” and attributed many of North Korea’s problems to Kim’s youth and the legacy of his father.
Kim “loves power,” Rodman said. “He loves control, because of his dad.”
Stephanopoulos wrapped up the interview by giving Rodman a copy of the latest Human Rights Watch report on North Korea, just in case he goes back.… [For more on Rodman: North Korea leader wants Obama to call him, click here.]