Dennis Rodman says he "loves Kim Jong-un" in bizarre CNN rant
Published 07/01/2014 | 17:36
Dennis Rodman, who is in North Korea with a group of former NBA players for a basketball game to mark Kim Jong-un's birthday, raged at an interviewer on CNN
Rodman, (52), the former basketball star, arrived in the country yesterday with a team of former NBA players to stage a game in celebration of Kim Jong-un's birthday.
His visit to the reclusive and murderous dictatorship elicited condemnation from the State Office and from the United States professional basketball players' association.
But Rodman defended the trip in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, saying it was "a great idea for the world."
Referring to Mr Kim, he said: "I love my friend. This is my friend."
Mr Cuomo then asked whether Rodman would raise the question of Kenneth Bae, the Korean-American who is currently being held in a North Korean prison. He said Mr Bae had done something wrong but did not say what that was.
"Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this.
Growing increasingly angry, Rodman continued: "You know, you've got 10 guys here, they've left their families, they've left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture.
"I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here."
One of the players, Charles D. Smith, tried to calm the discussion but Rodman carried on, becoming increasingly agitated.
"Ain't no shill ... let me do this," he said to Smith, shaking Smith's hand off his arm.
To the CNN presenter, he continued: "Really? Really? I want to tell you one thing. People round the world, around the world, I want to do one thing.
"One day, one day, this door is going to open because these 10 guys here, all of us, Christie, Vin, Dennis, Charles ... I mean everybody here, if we could open the door just a little bit for people to come here and do one thing."