Rodman: Kim Jong Un Is a 'Friendly Guy' and There's a 'Good Side' to North Korea

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jun 23, 2017 1:39 PM
Rodman: Kim Jong Un Is a 'Friendly Guy' and There's a 'Good Side' to North Korea

Dennis Rodman stood up for his “friend” Kim Jong Un Friday, saying people don’t realize how “friendly” the dictator is once you get to know him.

“I think people don’t see him as a friendly guy,” he told ABC News. “We sing karaoke, it’s all fun. Ride horses, everything.”

He also said people don’t realize there’s a “good side” to the rogue nation.

“People don't see the good side about that country. It's like going, like, to Asia. It's like going to, like, Istanbul, Turkey, or any place like that," Rodman said. "You know, you're going to see some poverty. You're going to see some people that's not doing too well."

But things are looking up for North Koreans, he said.

"When you go over there, and you hear the radio, and people are talking," Rodman said. "They're so happy now, because it's more like, it's civilized again."

The NBA Hall of Famer also said he felt partially responsible for securing Otto Warmbier’s release this month and felt “good things” came of his recent trip.

"I was just so happy to see the kid released," Rodman told ABC News’s 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."

Chris Volo, Rodman’s agent, said he asked for North Korean officials to release Warmbier on three occasions.

"I asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times," Volo told ABC News. "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 “didn’t know that [Warmbier] was sick” and gave “all the prayer and love” to his family.