By Justin Sink - 07/02/13 05:45 PM EDT
“Fact is, he hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet," Rodman said. "Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not ... whatever. People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America."
The former NBA champion reiterated his call to President Obama to attempt to communicate one-on-one with Kim.
"His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama," Rodman said. "Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what’s the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”
Earlier this year, the White House responded to Rodman's call for talks by saying the North Korean regime should focus on improving the lives of its own people rather than hosting "celebrity sporting events."
"Instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people, who have been starved, imprisoned, and denied their human rights," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Rodman told Sports Illustrated he plans to return to North Korea in August, and says he hopes the trip will inspire Kim to release Kenneth Bae, an American missionary and tour guide who was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on espionage charges.
“I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman said. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.”