Former basketball star Dennis Rodman is probably the one individual on this planet to name each U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean chief Kim Jong Un “good friend”.
The ex-Chicago Bulls energy ahead — who has swigged vodka with Kim and been fired by Trump on “Movie star Apprentice” — believes the 2 unpredictable leaders “are just about the identical folks”.
“They love management,” Rodman informed AFP Tuesday in Beijing, including that warnings of nuclear peril are innocent “leisure”.
“Ain’t no person bought no finger on the button.”
As tensions develop between Pyongyang and Washington, Rodman, 56, has styled himself as a world peacemaker prepared to assist strike a deal.
WATCH: Dennis Rodman observes, advises North Korean basketball group
He arrived in China Monday following stops in Tokyo and U.S. territory Guam.
He hoped to rearrange a visit to Pyongyang, which he has visited 5 occasions, however was stymied by a US ban towards Americans travelling to the nation.
“We thought we’d give it a shot whereas we’re right here,” Rodman mentioned, including that he’s engaged on acquiring a “particular move” from Trump to go to North Korea early subsequent 12 months.
Whereas there, he plans to make a documentary and write a e book about his relationship with Kim.
‘Complete totally different dynamic’
Rodman believes he can “alleviate some pressures so far as communication” between the U.S. and North Korea.
On one in every of his North Korea journeys in 2013 and 2014, “(Kim) gave me three issues … to say to the president,” he mentioned. “They requested us: Are you able to return to America to ask them to do that for us?”
For years, Rodman stored these three “fairly affordable” requests secret as a result of Kim informed him being a intermediary may put him in peril.
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However that was earlier than Trump grew to become president.
“This entire factor with me, (Kim) and Donald Trump — it’s an entire totally different dynamic proper now,” mentioned Rodman.
“I mentioned to (Trump) I bought three issues to say to you, and after that, he informed me to f–okay off.”
Now, Rodman plans to organise a basketball recreation between gamers from North Korea and Guam, a Pacific island which the North has threatened to hit with missiles.
The match can be held within the “impartial website” of Beijing, Rodman mentioned.
Whereas he has but to clear the concept with authorities, he hopes that such a recreation would “give one thing historic for everybody to see” — to point out that “there’s no hatred in any respect” on both aspect.
’21st century man’
Rodman — who calls Kim the “marshal” and says the dictator dubbed him a “good friend for all times” — has performed consuming video games, sung karaoke and ridden horses with the 33-year-old strongman.
He characterised the chief as a “21st century man” who has needed to bear the fallout of the choices made by “tyrants” like his father and grandfather, North Korea’s founding chief Kim Il Sung.
“(Kim Jong Un) is able the place he in all probability needs to do quite a lot of issues which might be actually constructive,” Rodman mentioned.
“I believe that the construction of the system simply don’t let him do it. I’ve seen that. You see him be completely satisfied, after which, rapidly you see him pull again. He needs to drag that set off the place he needs to let his folks be extra free.”
Kim, a longtime fan of the Chicago Bulls, introduced Rodman to his island and his ski resort, and even allowed the sportsman to carry his child daughter — the primary American to take action.
It’s believed that Kim and his spouse, Ri Sol-Ju, have three youngsters.
The basketball star acquired a rousing welcome when he and Kim visited the birthplace of Kim Il Sung, greeted by a line of youngsters who sang and bowed to Rodman.
“These children don’t know nothing about me, however they had been in all probability informed, ‘Respect him, as a result of our marshal loves being with him,’” Rodman mentioned.
The 2 males’s relationship has been largely apolitical.
In keeping with Rodman, they sang rock ‘n’ roll songs and watched performances by Moranbong (a state-approved lady group), “smoked cigars” and “talked about all the conventional stuff.”
They even performed “Horse”, a two-player basketball recreation.
Kim “lives and breathes basketball”, Rodman mentioned.