Following his visit to North Korea in February, Dennis Rodman
, who called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un "a friend for life," now says he's planning a summer vacation with the 30-year-old dictator, the Agence France-Presse reported.
Rodman, 51, who is known for his aggressive style on the court and flamboyant behavior off the court, appeared enamored with Kim after watching an exhibition game with him in North Korea a few weeks ago.
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On Monday, Rodman announced his plan to take a summer vacation
trip with the sword-rattling North Korean leader this August, North Dakota television station KXJB reported.
"I don't condone what he does, but he's my friend," Rodman said.
On Mar. 3, Rodman appeared on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, where he raised eyebrows after praising the current North Korean leader, his father, and grandfather, calling them "great leaders."
"He loves power. He loves control," Rodman said, of his new "friend." "But guess what? He doesn’t want war. That’s one thing he doesn’t want."
Rodman went on to say that Kim asked him to relay a message directly to President Barack Obama.
"He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him," Rodman said "He said, 'If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.' He said that to me."
Shortly before Rodman announced his summer plans with the dictator on Monday, Kim threatened that North Korea will "wipe out" a South Korean
island, the AFP reported.
On Monday, the nation's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that the socialist republic is combat-ready with strategic rockets and "diversified surgical nuclear strike mechanisms."
Experts say scarce resources prevent the impoverished North Korea
from adopting a conventional military that can engage in sustained combat, instead focusing on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology.
It is believed that nearly 9.5 million people in North Korea are military personnel, while millions of the nation's youth lack necessary food, medicine, and healthcare, leading to widespread malnourishment among residents, according to the United Nations.
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In comparison, the United States Armed Forces consist of just over 2.5 million military personnel.
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