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Dennis Rodman: North Korea Wants US to Call Me, Maybe?

Korean Dictator Professes He Doesn't Want War

Dennis Rodman engages in shuttle diplomacy with North Korea.

Dennis Rodman engages in shuttle diplomacy with North Korea.

Dennis Rodman is engaging in a little shuttle diplomacy to ease tensions between the United States and North Korea, taking a page from Henry Kissinger. The former diplomat used the same strategy with another hostile Asian nation, North Vietnam.

But Rodman is no Kissinger, and maybe that’s a good thing.

The ex-basketball star sat down with George Stephanopoulos to discuss his meeting with Dictator Kim Jong Un. Okay, he rambled. Nonetheless, he schooled the former Clinton Administration official on one thing.

“He’s a great guy,” said Rodman, who was in North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters to film the upcoming HBO series, VICE

“He’s a great guy who’s put 200,000 in prison camps?” George quipped.

“Guess what?” Dennis replied, “we have prison camps here too.”

Gotcha there George. Many African Americans view the country’s war on drugs as largely political campaign that disproportionately hits African American communities.

Penalties for possessing crack cocaine, found largely in poorer communities (Charlie Sheen the exception) are far harsher than penalties for possessing the powdered form, which white suburbanites and Hollywood types tend to favor.

As a result, the prisons are filled with African Americans serving long sentences for drug crimes.

Rodman is no career diplomat, but he did elicit information from the Korean dictator that sounded interesting.

“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” the basketballer 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.”

That’s an interesting and potentially significant statement, given the dictator’s recent saber rattling and nuclear tests.

For political reasons, Obama likely isn’t about to call, but the statement suggests a back channel may be open for negotiations.

Not surprisingly, Stephanopoulos laughed it off. “He wants President Obama to call him?” he said incredulously.

“The next time you go back you should take this report from Human Rights Watch and ask him about that,” George said.

Still, a breakthrough with North Korea could be a significant foreign policy achievement for the president’s second term.




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