In a Friday appearance on “Good Morning America,” former NBA player Dennis Rodman spoke about his recent trip to North Korea, suggesting that he was partly responsible for the release of American college student Otto Warmbier, and sending a message to President Trump—call me, so we can make peace with North Korea together.
“I was just so happy to see the kid released,” Rodman told co-anchor Michael Strahan. “Later that day, that’s when we found out he was ill, no one knew that. We jumped up and down … Some good things came of this trip.”
Despite the dictatorial behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and Warmbier’s mysterious death, Rodman claimed that the North Koreans are good people who are misunderstood.
While Rodman did not personally take credit for Warmbier’s release, his agent, Chris Volo, insisted that Rodman’s visit was a key factor in Jong-Un’s decision to return Warmbier to the U.S. Volo said that, before he and Rodman went to North Korea, “I asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times.”
“I know being there had something to do with it,” Volo said. “Because when I was organizing the trip … and I meet with the delegates here, you know, I addressed … Otto Warmbier. And I said to them, ‘we…would need his…you know, a release, some type of good faith, if we’re ever going to do some type of future sports relations’ … They said they understood.”
Rodman said he wanted to “give all the prayer and love” to the Warmbier family, noting that “I didn’t know that he was sick.”
Rodman, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, did not meet with Kim Jong-Un during his recent visit.
“The previous times we did,” he said. “I think the fact that, you know, my trips going up to North Korea is more like trying … to get to communicate sports-wise. It ain’t about trying to release people.”
“It’s not trying to do … political stuff. It’s almost just trying to reach out for sports and see if I can bring sports to North Korea,” Rodman said.
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