Franklin Graham Sees 'Golden Opportunity' in Kim Jong-Un Phone Call

Evangelist and noted humanitarian the Rev. Franklin Graham has recently stated that President Barack Obama should consider the apparent offer of a phone conversation with North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un.

Graham, who has visited North Korea five times and has a charity organization operating in the Communist nation, said in an interview with U.S. News and World Report that it was a "golden opportunity."

Graham was commenting specifically on the recent visit by NBA star Dennis Rodman to North Korea wherein the former Chicago Bull met with Kim Jung-Un.

"I'm surprised, I'm shocked … I'm thrilled that the North Koreans accepted him so warmly," said Graham to U.S. News.

"If he doesn't do it, I believe it would be a mistake … I think it would be very wise to pick up the phone and call him and to begin a dialogue."

Graham also explained in his over-the-phone interview with U.S. News that the subject of basketball could be a good icebreaker.

"Here is the grandson [of North Korea's first post-independence leader Kim Il-Sung], who loves American basketball, who's asking for the president to give him a call," said Graham.

"It's a golden opportunity. What could go wrong with a phone call?"

On Sunday, Rodman was interviewed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos regarding his recent trip to North Korea and visit with its dictator, Kim Jung-Un.

Rodman told Stephanopoulos that Kim simply wanted a phone call from Obama as a way of smoothing over increasingly tense relations between the two nuclear weapons holding nations.

"He's proud, his country likes him – not like him, love him, love him," said Rodman regarding Kim. "Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."

According to the online celebrity news site, a publicist for Rodman later stated that the NBA star, who was criticized for his remarks, regretted complimenting the regime without fully being aware of its extensive human rights violations.

In a statement by Amnesty International published Wednesday, the major human rights organization called for a United Nations inquiry to investigate the increased curb on human rights in North Korea. The United Nations is presently considering a resolution that would put sanctions on North Korea, a measure that has prompted Pyongyang to threaten to launch pre-emptive strikes against South Korean and United States targets.

Kim Jung-Un took power in North Korea in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il.

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