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“I think that it could still work. I just think that we need to stay on the right path to make it work,” Rodman told Reuters on Monday. “So, I think that people should not give up on the U.S. trying to engage with North Korea in a good, safe manner.”
Denuclearization talks between the two nations have stalled, and North Korea again embarked on so-called missile diplomacy Tuesday by firing two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea — the country’s eighth weapons test since July. North Korea has demanded that the U.S. lift crippling economic sanctions in order to move forward and possibly dismantle its nuclear program.
This is not the first time Rodman, 58, has weighed in on the North Korea issue. The onetime Chicago Bull has called Kim his “best friend.” Kim is said to be a big fan of the Bulls, and of Rodman, who first visited North Korea as a private citizen in 2013 and met Kim. During one of his trips to North Korea, Rodman organized a basketball game and famously sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim.
Rodman has said his “basketball diplomacy” could help ease tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and he sent a letter to President Trump offering to help after the second Trump-Kim summit collapsed with no deal in February.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said over the weekend, before the latest North Korea launches, that the U.S. “was hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks we’ll be back at the negotiating table with them.”
“I think Kim Jong Un wants peace,” Rodman said. “I know him very well, I think he wants peace.”
North Korea had said Monday it was open to another round of talks with the U.S. later this month, according to state-run media.
Rodman, who appeared on the Trump-hosted reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009 and was fired, also said this week that Trump had him on the show “to help and guide me … because I was out there being buck wild, doing my thing, having a good time.”
“That’s his way of showing that he cares about me,” Rodman said of Trump.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.