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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has said his "friend", North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, wants Barack Obama to give him a call.
The basketball veteran dined with Kim during his trip with the Harlem Globetrotters to the isolated totalitarian nation last week and returned with a message for his president.
"He wants Obama to do one thing - call him," Rodman told US network ABC. "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."
Rodman added: "(Kim) loves basketball. And I said the same thing. I said, 'Obama loves basketball.' Let's start there."
A US official dismissed Rodman's comments, saying the White House already has communication channels with North Korea.
The US State Department has criticised North Korea for "wining and dining" former NBA star Dennis Rodman when "they should be feeding their own people".
Spokesman Patrick Ventrell distanced the US Government from Rodman's visit to Pyongyang this week, during which the star told Kim Jong-un he had made "a friend for life".
Ventrell told reporters, "You've got the regime spending money to wine and dine foreign visitors, when they should be feeding their own people".
Rodman said on his Twitter page he is returning to the US today and on Monday he will "tell what is true and not true of what you have heard and read".
Rodman was in Pyongyang on a trip with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Kim Jong-un, who is a basketball fan, was told by Rodman that he had made "a friend for life."
Jason Mojica, a producer with the Vice crew filming basketball star Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea, says the country's leader was generous with alcohol during the trip:
Meanwhile Rodman insisted he was there because the Supreme Leader loves basketball, and not for any political reasons:
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman told North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, "You have a friend for life", as they sat side-by-side at a basketball game.
While the improbable pair watched the Harlem Globetrotters at a Pyongyang gym, Kim told Rodman he hoped his visit would break the ice between the US and North Korea, a spokesman for the VICE media company told the Associated Press.
Kim and Rodman chatted in English, but the North Korean leader primarily spoke in Korean through a translator, the report added.
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