Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman returned Monday from his second highly publicized trip to North Korea, the so-called “hermit kingdom.”
And the flamboyant former basketball player had nothing but sweet things to say about Kim Jong Un, his best friend for life.
“He has to do his job, but he’s a very good guy,” Rodman said at a news conference Monday.
“You write what you hear, but you don’t see what you write,” Rodman said, explaining that journalists should go to North Korea to see firsthand how things are run.
In fact, according to Rodman, the West has it all wrong. Kim just wants to talk and Rodman says the purpose of his visits is to make that happen.
“It’s about trying to open Obama’s and everyone’s minds,” he said, adding that his visits aren’t a gimmick. “You don’t have to talk about politics. … Meet him or even give him a call. That’s all he wants.”
Rodman bragged that the petite despot opened “his heart and mind” and allowed the towering basketball player to hold his newborn daughter “for the first time in history.”
He again challenged the president to “open his mind” about North Korea.
“Why, Obama, are you afraid to talk to Dennis Rodman?” he asked. “You’re not afraid to talk to Beyonce and Jay-Z, why not me? I’m pretty important now, right? I got the inside track on what you gotta’ do. This is not 1953, this 2013. It’s a new era.”
Rodman also announced his plans for a “basketball diplomacy” event that will involve North Korean players.
Kim “gave me anything I wanted,” he said. Kim told him, “We’ve got 150,000 kids will do anything for you on the field. We’ve got 95,000 people will be in the stadium watching this game.”
He also said the U.S. needs to work to bridge the gap with North Korea.
“This is about trying to bridge a gap to a country that people say is so bad,” Rodman said. “This country’s not bad.”
“I said to him, ‘Your grandfather and your father did some bad things … but you are trying to change,’ ” Rodman said.
He added Kim has to keep up appearances.
The one thing Kim asked Rodman to tell the U.S.?
“Tell the American people we’re very cool,” Rodman said
You can watch the full presser here:
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Featured image Getty Images.