In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, former NBA player Dennis Rodman, who has visited North Korea as Kim Jong Un’s guest, said Monday that he tried to pass along to then President Barack Obama Kim’s intention to have a sit-down, but he was rebuffed.
Wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, Rodman told Cuomo how when he was in North Korea with Kim Jong Un five years ago, the North Korean leader asked him to relay a message to Obama about his willingness to sit down with the president.
“I talked to Kim Jong Un and the administration over there five years ago, and he asked me five years ago—we sat down for lunch, and he sat down and asked me, ‘Hey Dennis, I’d like to ask you three things if you go back to tell the president of the United States these three things, and I would be willing to talk to him,’” Rodman said.
“And this is a true story, and I got my people here that heard the conversation. He said things like, if they could move the ships back from South Korea, I would do what I have to do to listen. If you could move certain things, do certain things, I will listen. My ears will be open,” Rodman recalled of his conversation with Kim.
“And I tried to do that to Obama, and Obama didn’t even give me the time of day. I asked him. I said, I have something to say from North Korea. He just brushed me off, but that didn’t deter me. I still kept going back. I kept going back. I kept going back. I showed my loyalty and my trustworthy to this country. And I said to everybody, I said, ‘the door will open,’” Rodman said.
Rodman said when he returned to the U.S., he received death threats and had to hide out for a month.
“When I said those thing, when I said those damn things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats. I got so many death threats. I was sitting there protecting everything, and I believe in North Korea, and when I went home, I couldn’t even go home. I had to hide out for 30 days. I couldn’t even go home, but I kept my head up high, brother,” he said.
“I knew things were going to change. I was the only one. I never had no one to hear me … but I took those bullets. I took all that. I took everything and what came at me, and I’m still standing. And today is a great day for everybody – Singapore, Tokyo, China, everything. It’s a great day,” Rodman said.
Meanwhile, as CNSNews.com previously reported, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “there were efforts at discussion” with North Korea during the Obama administration. “The problem is that, at every turn, the North Koreans would make commitments and then break them."
"The fact of the matter is that I believe the North Koreans were not prepared to be serious under Kim Jong Un with respect to sitting at the table until they perfected their nuclear program and their missiles," she said.