Dennis Rodman is opening up about his strange friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. While tensions between the United States and North Korea are at an all-time high, the former NBA star claims Jong-un actually loves America and wants peace.
According to MSN, Rodman has made several visits to North Korea over the years and said Jong-un is his “friend for life.” The former Chicago Bull revealed that Jong-un has a passion for American ’80s music and sings karaoke to TV theme songs. During his first five visits, Rodman claims that he never talked politics with Jong-un. Instead, they joked around, played basketball, and sang songs.
Rodman even claims that he was the first American to hold Jong-un’s daughter, Kim Ju-ae. He says that he has photographic evidence of him holding the small baby, but he keeps the photos in a locked security deposit box. During Rodman’s sixth and most recent visit, the conversation turned towards politics and Jong-un’s vision for his country’s future.
Rodman revealed that Jong-un wants to renegotiate the peace treaty between North Korea and the United States. He also says that Kim Jong-un stores nuclear weapons as a means to protect himself and has no plans on unleashing them against his enemies.
“I’ve never told this to anyone, but the last time I was there, the just came out and started saying stuff about what they want from Americans,” he stated. “How they want to rewrite the peace treaty, they want us to get the ships out of South Korea. He’s saying the reason why they have the nuclear bombs is because they know that Americans think they can take over.”
Rodman continued, “They just want people in America and the government to know they don’t hate Americans. They want to work with Americans. They just want them to abide by the agreement that they wrote up years ago.”
While Rodman’s assertions sound ridiculous, Express is reporting that President Donald Trump is open to sitting down with Jong-un and working out their differences. In fact, President Trump recently said that he would meet with Jong-un under the right circumstances.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely,” Trump shared. “Under the right circumstances, I would meet with him.”
White House officials later clarified Trump’s statement and admitted that a meeting would probably not happen anytime soon. The only way a meeting would happen is if North Korea calmed down its rhetoric and agreed to destroy its nuclear arsenal. Given Rodman’s recent comments, this probably won’t happen in the near future.
“The United States remains open to credible talks on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula; however conditions must change before there is any scope for talks to resume,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department explained.
To make matters worse, Time is reporting that Jong-un just detained another U.S. citizen inside North Korea. The dictator imprisoned Kim Hak-song, a professor at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, marking the fourth U.S. citizen to be detained the past month. Political experts believe Jong-un is assembling a collection of political prisoners to help fight the growing escalation between him and the U.S.
The teacher was the second person arrested from the university with ties to America. Their specific crimes are unknown, but the arrests might indicate something bigger is going on at the school. Until more information is revealed, it isn’t clear what Jong-un is planning.
Rodman has not commented on the arrests of the U.S. citizens. Rodman’s frequents visits to the country and his friendship with Kim Jong-un have been heavily criticized in the past, and his latest visit is no exception.
[Featured Image by the Associated Press/AP Images]