Dennis Rodman: Kim Jong Un Has A Message For Obama

Dennis Rodman Kim Jong Un Has A Message For ObamaIn his first interview since returning to the U.S. from an unprecedented visit to North Korea last week, former NBA star Dennis Rodman said he bears a message for President Obama from the country’s oppressive leader, Kim Jong Un.

‘Call him’

“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “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.”

The athlete also offered Kim some diplomatic advice for potential future talks with President Obama: “[Kim] loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said, ‘Obama loves basketball.’ Let’s start there,” Rodman said.

Rodman’s comments come just days after the basketball star shocked the world with an unexpected trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, becoming the first known American to publicly meet with the mysterious Kim since he assumed command of the totalitarian nation after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il in 2011. Rodman likely now has more firsthand impressions of Kim than any other American. He offered some insight to Kim’s personality this morning.


‘Friend for life’

“He loves power. He loves control,” Rodman said, of his new “friend.” “But guess what? He doesn’t want war. That’s one thing he doesn’t want.”

Rodman traveled through Pyongyang with members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and a camera crew from the upcoming HBO series, “VICE.” Kim warmly welcomed the Americans, with an itinerary that included ice skating, an aquarium visit and a long dinner and drinks.

During his visit, Rodman sat court side with Kim as they took in an exhibition basketball face-off with the Globetrotters and North Korean players. Kim, like his late father, is said to be a devoted basketball fan – especially for the 1990’s-era Chicago Bulls championship teams, which included Rodman. Rodman stood up to give a speech to the basketball crowd, at one point telling Kim, “You have a friend for life.”

Do you think Dennis Rodman’s mission for “basketball diplomacy” was successful? Could basketball help bring together the U.S. and North Korea?

Source: Kari Rea, ABC Otus News, Yahoo News

Image: CBS News

South Korea Holds Military Drill Despite Threats from North

South Korea fired live artillery on Monday in a military drill near the country’s heavily armed border with North Korea, which has described the exercise as a provocation.

The drill Monday involved howitzers, mortars and attack helicopters, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. It took place on islands off the west coast of the Korean peninsula where tensions have flared in the past. Seoul notified the North on Sunday of the drill, a regular live-fire exercise that lasts an hour. About 1,000 island residents were moved to safe areas during the drill, Yonhap reported, citing military officials.


In late 2010, North Korea responded to a South Korean military exercise in the same area by firing artillery at Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. The death in December of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and the subsequent anointment of his son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Un, has created uncertainty about the future direction of the secretive regime in Pyongyang.

Further tensions over military maneuvers on the Korean peninsula are expected in the coming weeks. There are two joint exercises planned involving thousands of U.S. and South Korean forces scheduled between February and April.

Source: CNN

Image: The Guardian