- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dennis Rodman sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz to talk about his controversial trip to North Korea, saying that his efforts in world diplomacy should be enough to earn him a Nobel Peace Prize.

“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” he said. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [Obama’s] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.”

The former NBA player recently traveled to Pyongyang with a few members of the Harlem Globetrotters and a crew from HBO’s television series “Vice,” Sports Illustrated reported.

Mr. Rodman said he knew very little of North Korea or Kim Jong-un before the trip.

“I didn’t know Kim Jong-un from Lil’ Kim. I didn’t know what country he ruled or what went on in the country he ruled,” he told Lidz.

Mr. Rodman later said that Kim is a “friend for life.”

SEE ALSO: Dennis Rodman to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un: ‘Do me a solid’ and free American

“Fact is, [Kim] hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet,” he 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. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama. 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.”

Mr. Rodman is scheduled to be back in North Korea in August to “chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” he told Lidz.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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