Dennis Rodman is wishing well for Kim Jong-Un after reports painted a dire picture for the North Korean leader’s health.
Rodman, who sparked an unlikely relationship with Kim after visits to North Korea that included organizing an exhibition basketball game there in 2014, responded to reports that Kim was in dire health this week. Speaking to TMZ Sports, Rodman said that he is hoping for a full recovery and pining on the hope that the reports of his grave health were not true.
“I hope it’s just a rumor that Marshal Kim Jong-Un is sick,” Rodman said. “Hopefully I will find out more soon.”
Rodman said he hoped that the United States would be able to continue making progress in disarmament talks with North Korea, which had intensified since President Donald Trump took office. Rodman had been vocal in calling for Trump to improve relations with North Korea after years of high tension and provocative military exercises from the North Korean forces, including a series of missile launches.
“There is still so much work we have to do between both the USA and DPRK,” Rodman said.
“If he is not feeling well, I am praying for his speedy recovery, so that both my friends [President Trump & Marshal Kim] can continue towards a peaceful success.”
Reports this week indicated that Kim was in grave health after undergoing cardiovascular surgery last week. Though there has been no word from the North Korean government — which is notoriously tight-lipped, especially regarding the health of top leadership — there was some concern sparked earlier this month when Kim was not present for an event marking the anniversary of the birthday of his grandfather and the country’s founding father, Kim Il Sung.
Kim normally attended such events and also presided over the country’s military launches, one of which took place last week without his presence.
As The Inquisitr reported, it is not entirely clear what would happen to North Korea if Kim were not to survive. The report noted that the country is unlikely to have a succession plan in place if the leader were to die.
“Probably they don’t have a succession plan, because having a succession plan would be tantamount to plotting a conspiracy against the leader,” said Andrei Lankov, a professor of Korean studies at Kookmin University in Seoul, via The Washington Post.
Rodman told TMZ Sports that he is praying Kim can make a full recovery.