The Washington Times - March 4, 2013, 03:17PM

White House spokesman Jay Carney brushed aside NBA star Dennis Rodman’s visit last week with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as nothing more than an inappropriate publicity stunt by Pyongyang’s oppressive government.

“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,” Mr. Carney said.

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Mr. Rodman, the former Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons star known for his outrageous behavior and over-the-top outfits, visited North Korea last week for a basketball exhibition with the Harlem Globetrotters.

During the trip, Mr. Rodman also toured Pyongyang and had dinner with the young leader whom he called “my friend” in a bizarre interview with NBC’s “Today Show.” He also said Mr. Kim told him to tell President Obama to “call him.”

“I don’t want to do war,” Mr. Rodman said Mr. Kim told him.