Dennis Rodman on North Korea: I Won't Go Back (Video)

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 02:28 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Dennis Rodman, the former Chicago Bulls basketball star who became close friends with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, has said he won't return to the Communist country if that's what everyone wants.

In a tearful interview with ESPN's Mark Schwarz recently, the colorful 52-year-old said he took the trips to North Korea because just wanted to "do great things in life."

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"You know, I don't want to be a hero," Rodman said. "I just wanted to be, just do happy things ... I wish they understood the whole purpose of why I went to North Korea. I wish they did."

Rodman first traveled to the region last February to film a basketball documentary for HBO. While he was there, he formed a friendship with Jong Un, the country's despot supreme leader. After the trip, Rodman called Jong Un "an awesome guy" and a "friend for life."

He made his most recent trip to North Korea in January for an exhibition basketball game and later had it out with CNN's Chris Cuomo in a live interview. During his rant, Rodman implied that North Korea is justified in imprisoning U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, who was arrested there in November 2012 for unspecified "hostile acts" and has been held captive ever since.

Rodman later apologized for the outburst, saying he had been drinking. When he returned to the U.S., he checked himself into a rehabilitation center in New Jersey for three weeks, though he denied it was because of alcoholism.

"What makes me so damn bad? What makes me this bad, awful person? At least someone tried," Rodman told ESPN in the new interview. "So that's how I look at it. I just wanted to ... do great things in life. That's all I wanted to do. That's it. If you don't want me to go back there ever again, I won't go back."

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