Former NBA star Dennis Rodman wants President Trump to give him a diplomatic assignment to North Korea, and promised he could make progress with dictator Kim Jong Un if given a chance.
“I’ve been trying to tell Donald since day one: ‘Come talk to me, man,'" Rodman told the Guardian. "I’ll tell you what the Marshal wants more than anything … It’s not even that much.’”
“If I can go back over there … you’ll see me talking to him, and sitting down and having dinner, a glass of wine, laughing and doing my thing,” he added. “I guess things will settle down a bit and everybody can rest at ease.”
Rodman, who won titles with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls before wearing a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography, has traveled to North Korea multiple times over the last several years, most recently in June. He claimed to have intervened on behalf of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was abused in North Korean custody and died shortly after the regime released him to his parents.
He wants to organize a basketball game between North Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam, which North Korea recently threatened to attack.
“The people in Guam are all about it,” Rodman told reporters. “They love it. You get a team from North Korea, get these guys from Pyongyang. Play it in Beijing.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson authorized a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea after Warmbier’s death. Western diplomats have also sought to enhance international pressure on the regime, which has tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking any point in the United States.
Kim wants nuclear weapons capable of striking the U.S. in order to force a withdrawal of American military forces from South Korea, according to a diplomat who defected from the regime.
“While Kim Jong Un has already long had the tools to destroy South Korea effectively, he also believes it is necessary to drive American forces out of the peninsula,” Thae Yong Ho told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in November. “And this can be done, he believes, by being able to credibly threaten the continental United States with nuclear weapons.”