In a rambling, tearful interview with ESPN, Dennis Rodman said he will never go to North Korea again, but maintained that once the hermit nation opens up we will "watch these people kiss my ass."
"At least someone tried, that's how I look at it," Rodman said of his visits to engage in "basketball diplomacy" with North Korea's ruler, Kim Jong Un, whom Rodman once called a "friend for life." Rodman's last visit to North Korea imploded in controversy after the former NBA star appeared to justify the imprisonment of American Kenneth Bae, who has been held in North Korea for over a year. Rodman told ESPN of Bae: "I didn't know what the hell he did."
"I don't wanna be a hero," Rodman continued. "I just want to do happy things and do great things in life."
"If I put anyone in harm's way I apologize," Rodman said. "If you ever want me to go back there again, I won't go back."
He appeared to reserve praise for Kim: "It's so intriguing to hear him talk about sports," Rodman said. "I said, 'Wow, this guy, he's moving toward the 21st century.' And I'm thinking in my heart that's gonna open for everybody. That's what I'm hoping, that's what I'm looking for long term, it does open."
"I know truly in my heart something's gonna happen. If it happens, watch all these people kiss my ass."
Miriam Elder is the world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 5B5F EC17 C20B C11F 226D 3EBE 6205 F92F AC14 DCB1
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