Attention, fans of pro basketball and international diplomacy: The Worm has returned.
After his controversial trip to North Korea last week, NBA hall of famer Dennis Rodman appeared on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos to talk about his experiences and to clarify his earlier tweets from Pyongyang (that is, once he figured out exactly which Korea he was in). Rodman didn’t take back his earlier declarations of his love for the people of North Korea or for their Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, with whom he ate, drank and watched basketball during his two-day trip. Instead, the former Mr. Carmen Electra brought home a message for President Obama from the dictator he now refers to as a “friend for life.”
“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told Stephanopoulos. ”He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.”
Unsurprisingly, the White house said Monday that Obama would not be having any late night chats with the notoriously oppressive ruler, who has threatened to destroy the United States. In an unsettling propaganda video promoting North Korea’s missile program, released last month, “We Are The World” plays over images of New York City in flames (lifted, incidentally, from a Call of Duty video game). But Rodman told Stephanopoulos he’s found a possible olive branch, if only Obama is willing to listen: The two leaders share a love of basketball (which apparently can excuse even the most egregious human rights violations).
“[Kim] loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said, ‘Obama loves basketball.’ Let’s start there,” Rodman helpfully pointed out.
Dennis Rodman is as far as anyone knows the first American to meet with North Korea’s leader since his father, Kim Jong-Il, died in 2011, passing on the reins of the repressive regime to the 28-year-old. Though Rodman said he doesn’t aspire to a career in diplomacy, he wants to go back to North Korea to “find out more.”