Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has served somewhat as an unofficial ambassador in the past between the United States and North Korea. He’s drawn both praise and criticism, even death threats, for his close relationship with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator.
By his own testimony, Rodman has striven to build bridges and to earn the trust of Kim, even though at times he hasn’t felt that his overtures have been welcomed by previous U.S. administrations.
But now, as President Trump and Kim met in Singapore Monday, Rodman’s long-wished-for desires to see more favorable relations between his two beloved countries have been fulfilled, or at least seem to be leaning that way.
Rodman opened up to reporters following the summit, revealing the struggle he’s gone through to help bring this summit between Kim and Trump to reality. According to CNN, some are calling the summit the biggest diplomatic breakthrough of the 21st Century.
Wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, Rodman blasted former President Barack Obama for his failure in taking North Korea seriously. Five years ago, Kim had urged Rodman to relay to the former president “certain things” but when Rodman returned home, Obama “didn’t even give the time of day – he just brushed me off, but that didn’t deter me.”
"When I went back home, I got so many death threats," Rodman said, as he stood before reporters, shaken and crying. "And I believed in North Korea, and I couldn't even go home. I couldn't even go home, for thirty days. But I kept my head up."
Through a secretary, President Trump reached out to Rodman before the summit to tell him that he was “very proud” of him, Rodman said, according to Fox News.
“We don’t need a miracle, but we need the doors to be open so we can start fresh,” said Rodman of the two leaders.
“Donald Trump should take a lot of credit for this,” Rodman added. “He went out of the box and made this happen.”
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