(NEW YORK) — Basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman may be the only American to have hugged, drank and laughed with North Korea’s bad boy Kim Jong Un, but the U.S. State Department said Friday it has no plans to debrief Rodman for any personal intel on the man who says he is targeting the U.S. with his nuclear arsenal.
Rodman left Pyongyang Friday after stunning the diplomatic world with his basketball diplomacy. After watching an exhibition game with a laughing Kim, dining and drinking with him, even hugging the regime strongman, Rodman had lavish praise for Kim and his father and grandfather who have turned North Korean into a family affair.
No other American as far as anyone can tell has met with Kim since he assumed command of North Korea following his father’s death in 2011. Since then, Kim has defied the world by pressing ahead with a nuclear arms and missile program which Kim says is aimed at the U.S.
Despite his access to Kim, however, Rodman will not be debriefed by American diplomats.
“We haven’t been in touch with this traveling party at any point along in the process. They haven’t been in touch with us. And so we don’t have any plans in that regard,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.
But he said as with any American who travels to North Korea and wants to talk to State, “We’ll take their call.”
“Here’s a man who has had dinner with one of the most threatening men in the whole world, who continues to sell weapons of mass destruction to all of our enemies. And they don’t even want to talk to him? That’s ridiculous,” said Steve Ganyard, a former deputy assistant secretary of state and a consultant to ABC News.
“There is nobody at the CIA who can tell you more personally about Kim Jong Un than Dennis Rodman and that in itself is scary,” Ganyard said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sugam Pokharel and Tim Hume, CNN
Ralph Ellis and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN