March 3 Photo Brief: Dennis Rodman in North Korea, Afghan Ski Challenge, SpaceX Dragon in space, sinkholes
Dennis Rodman returns from North Korea, the Afghan Ski Challenge, SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle in space, sinkholes in the news and more in today’s daily brief.
Ex-NBA star Rodman says North Korea’s Kim wants Obama to call
2:52 p.m. EST, March 3, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star known more for his body piercings and tattoos than international diplomacy skills, said on Sunday he returned from North Korea with a message from its leader Kim Jong-un for President Barack Obama – “call me.”
Rodman appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program a few days after an unlikely meeting with Kim in the North Korea capital Pyongyang, where Rodman was working on a documentary about basketball.
With the international community concerned about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and continued belligerence, Rodman had extremely rare access to Kim. They attended a basketball game, where they were seen laughing and talking at courtside, and also had dinner together.
“He wants Obama to do one thing – call him,” Rodman said. “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.”
Rodman said he told Kim, who followed his father and grandfather as leader of the isolated totalitarian nation in December 2011, that his love of basketball could serve as a foundation of a relationship with the U.S. president, who also is a basketball fan and plays regularly.
“(Kim) loves basketball. And I said the same thing. I said, â€˜Obama loves basketball.’ Let’s start there,” Rodman said.