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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 3, 2013 - 11:32 am

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman is apparently Kim Jong-un’s chosen conduit for avoiding war with the United States.

While on a visit to North Korea, Rodman said the dictator asked him to deliver a message to President Obama: “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.”

On ABC’s This Week, Rodman said he wasn’t especially concerned about Pyongyang’s horrendous human rights record during his “great experience” hanging with Kim.

“I didn’t look at all of that there. I understand what he’s doing. I don’t condone that. I hate the fact that he’s doing that. But the fact is, you know what? That’s a human being. He let his guards down, he did one thing to me, he’s been a friend. I didn’t talk about that,” he said.

“…He loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said Obama loves basketball. Let’s start there. Let’s start there. If you see the quotes in the paper says that. He says that by his voice. Both of you guys love basketball so much.”

Rodman called the dictator who is featured in nearly every prominent story and photo on the regime’s official Korean Central News Agency site “very humble.”

“As a kid he’s very humble, and he’s very — he’s very strong as a man, but he’s — guess what? He doesn’t want war. That’s one thing he don’t want,” Rodman said. “I can tell by him, he does one thing, he — he loves — he loves power, he loves control.”

When asked if Kim is a “great guy” who socks away 200,000 people in prison camps, Rodman replied, “Well, you know, guess what, it’s amazing how we do the same thing here.”

“We don’t have prison camps, guess what, this is all politics, right? This is all politics, right? And the one thing, he don’t want to do that. He don’t want to do that,” he continued. “…I’m not apologizing for him. I think the fact that, you know, he’s a good guy to me. Guess what, he’s my friend. Guess what, I don’t condone what he does, but as far as a person to person, he’s my friend. But as far as what he does, you deal with it.”

“You know what, seriously, you know what, guess what, guess what, what I did, what I did was history, was history and guess what, it’s just like we do over here in America, right? It’s amazing that we have presidents over here do the same thing, right? It’s amazing that Bill Clinton could do one thing and have sex with his secretary and do one thing and really get away with it and still be powerful.”

Also read: Fallout From North Korea’s Nuclear Test

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (24)
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Anyone - like Rodman - who thinks North Korea is no different from America needs to read about life in North Korea from some of the people who have managed to escape.

I'm not sure how many links are permitted in comments so I'll stop with one but there are many haunting stories out there. Here's one that should stir the soul of anyone who values freedom http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com/2007-09-atbirth.htm

In case you're wondering what crime this young man committed to get into the North Korean gulag, the answer is none whatsoever. He was BORN in one of the gulag camps, the son of two prisoners who met and married in the prison and were allowed a very few days together before being separated. Imagine spending YOUR ENTIRE LIFE in a labor camp, never having done anything wrong. How many Americans are BORN in prisons and then made prisoners themselves?

That Rodman can consider the dictator who presides over this situation a good friend speaks volumes about Rodman but not in a good way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OMG we have sunk to an all time low. A jerk who was on Celebrity Rehab trying to convince us that Kim is a decent guy. Just doesn't get any worse than that knucklehead.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
""""" We have more people in prison than any other country on the planet. Either by capita or total numbers """""""

That is not correct. Yes, we have lots of people in jail for committing actual crimes in the vast majority of cases, and they're not starving. There is nothing dumber or more shameful thatn the kind of moral equivalence that you and Dennis Rodman are spouting. And I am saying that about after taking into consideration that we are becoming less free by the year, and more and more activities are being criminalized. But the difference between me and you is that I understand perspective and you don't. Have a nice day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm confused. Are we expecting rational thought from Dennis Rodman??

Maybe Obama and Baby Jong can settle our differences with a game of HORSE.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The fact that this boor is being considered at all American shows how low diiplomacy has fallen. I hopw those who complain about "I saw your boobs" are paying attention.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The dude is mentally ill.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
President Obama's 'Ace Diplomat' Denis Rodman telling Americans what unites Kim and Obama- basketball- prison camps- loving power. What about forced labor camps- orphanages having famines- cannibalism- forced crying- forced laughing- forced hairdos? Did Rodman deliver any 'private correspondence' to Leader Kim like Susan Rice to her counterpart at UN, PM Erdogan on behalf of Obama to Leader Khamenei to 'can't we just get along?'.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rodman saying KJu is a 'great guy' is hilarious coming from a guy whose people were held in bondage for centuries. Rodman says 'he doesn't condone' KJu's imprisoning people (and often their families) for political reasons, but isn't he doing just that when he calls him 'a great guy'?

Instead of making KJu his BFF, perhaps Rodman should thank his personal God he was born in America in 1961, and had educational opportunities (which opened the door to a sports career) and opportunities for financial success.

North Korea: "Hey, it's great!" America: "We're doing the same thing they do." Okay, Dennis stay in fantasy land as long as you wish - you're free to do that here.

Other posters have already noted this, but Rodman saying our imprisoning of people is 'doing the same thing' as what KJu does has got to be idiocy of the highest order. Rodman should take Stephanopolous' advice and look up North Korea on Human Rights Watch (hey Dennis, you can find it at hrw.org). In all likelihood, Rodman was given the 'approved visitors list' tour, whereby all he saw while there was glistening buildings, smiling workers and prosperity. They didn't allow him to see the gulags, ghettos, persecuted & oppressed workers, and the deplorable, sub-human conditions in which they live and are forced to work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Last time I looked, North Korea was one of those "No Go" countries. You had to get special permission from the State Department to go there. So my question is, what genius in the brain trust we laughingly refer to as "The State Department", thought it was a good idea to have this sub-human represent the United States?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Never heard of him. Most celebrities today are fools. Anyone who looks up to them are contemptible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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