Dennis Rodman: Returning to North Korea?
Amid rising nuclear threats by North Korea, Dennis Rodman -- who called dictator Kim Jong Un an "awesome kid" during his improbable Vice-masterminded basketball diplomacy tour in February -- says he plans to return to the reclusive country this summer.
"I’m going back August 1," the former Chicago Bull told The Miami Herald at a Saturday charity gala in Miami Beach. "We have no plans really, as far as what we're going to do over there, but we’ll just hang and have some fun!"
Rodman, still angling to meet with President Obama before his second North Korea trip (which will not be orchestrated by Vice), argued that past tensions with the Soviet Union were more problematic than Kim's war-mongering, saying: "The Russians were way out there, and they were acting on their threats. He just wants to be loved. He just wants to sit down and talk. That’s all."
Details of Rodman's alleged excursion are unknown. A rep for the baller-turned-reality star had no comment.
Shane Smith, Vice co-founder and CEO, recently told THR that the media company -- which recruited Rodman and three Harlem Globetrotters to travel to North Korea for its new HBO docu-series -- became "really worried" for the crew's safety when a media frenzy erupted over Rodman bonding with Kim at an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang.
"We just wanted to get in to have sort of unparalleled access to the regime and show the regime – especially at a time when tensions are so heightened," said Smith. "If there could be some diplomacy, if there could be some dialogue, we always believe it’s a good thing. ... And was Rodman outrageous when he got out of North Korea? Quite frankly, and I don’t know him very well at all, but was he a bit confused and was he a bit baffled? Probably."