- (Photo: Reuters/KCNA)
Two months after Dennis Rodman visited North Korea and called its supreme leader Kim Jong Un, one of the world's most dangerous men, a "good guy" and his "friend," the former NBA star is planning another visit to "have some fun" despite that country threatening a nuclear holocaust.
"I'm going back August 1," Rodman told The Miami Herald on Saturday, of the country with a brutal dictatorship. "We have no plans really, as far as what we're going to do over there, but we'll just hang and have some fun!"
Rodney announced his plan at a press conference the day Secretary of State John Kerry flew to China to meet that country's top leaders, seeking their help in dealing with the North, which has threatened attacks against South Korea as well as the United States and continues to flout international laws with its nuclear program.
Rodman said he was aware of the recent developments. "I'm not a total idiot," he was quoted as saying. "I know what Kim Jong-un is threatening to do regarding his military muscle. I hope it doesn't happen because America will take whatever actions to protect America and our allies."
The basketball star suggested the United States should talk to North Korea. "I do think, umm, you know, that we have to talk to people who want to cause us harm so hopefully they won't."
After returning from Pyongyang in February with members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and a camera crew from the upcoming HBO series, "VICE" – without any involvement of the U.S. State Department, Rodman said Kim wanted President Obama to call him.
"…I sat with him for two days… And one thing he [Kim] asked me to give Obama… something to say and do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him," Rodman, the first known American to publicly meet with the North Korean leader, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News "This Week" on March 3.
Details of Rodman's second trip to the North remain unclear, and the trip itself appears to be uncertain given that country's growing tension with the U.S. Weeks ago, North Korea threatened America with a war after the U.N. imposed new sanctions in response to the North's third nuclear test about two months ago.
During his previous visit, Kim reportedly extended a warm welcomed to Rodman and his associates, with an itinerary that included ice skating, an aquarium visit and a long dinner and drinks. In his speech to a basketball crowd, the athlete described Kim's grandfather and his father as "great leaders."
Kim Jong Un took charge of the totalitarian nation after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2011.
Though the authoritarian communist nation relies heavily on foreign aid due to a lack of food distribution system, price rise and international sanctions over its weapons programs, its young leader continues to develop nuclear arms and missile program, threatening they are to target the United States. He is also responsible for the starvation of millions of his own people.
However, Roman said last month Kim is "very humble." "As a kid he's very humble… he's very strong as a man… But guess what, he don't want war. That's one thing he don't want."
The athlete also said he found that North Korean people respect Kim and his family. "They're great leaders there." When ABC News reminded that Kim put 200,000 people in prison camps, Rodman responded by suggesting that America also does that. "We don't have prison camps, guess what, this is all politics, right? …he don't want to do that… But you know what, it's more like it – I'm not like a diplomat, I don't want to do that…"
Asked if he would share the latest report from the Human Rights Watch, which outlines North Korea's "dire human rights record" under Kim, with the young North Korean leader during his next visit, Rodman replied that he would. But reporters did not remind him of his promise at Saturday's press conference.