Published April 15, 2013
North Korea's increasing hostility toward the rest of the world doesn't seem to faze dictator Kim Jong Un's newest best friend Dennis Rodman, who reiterated his plans to return to the communist nation in August.
The former U.S. basketball star said at a charity event in Miami Beach over the weekend that he's keeping plans to visit North Korea again in late summer to have "fun" with the country's dictator, the website "Gossip Extra" reported.
"I’m going back August 1," he told the website. "We have no plans really, as far as what we’re going to do over there, but we’ll just hang and have some fun!"
Rodman raised eyebrows when he became the first American to meet the reclusive young leader in a visit to Pyongyang in February.
Weeks after the controversial visit, Rodman, 51, described Kim as a friend.
"I don't condone what he does, but he's my friend," Rodman said in a March interview with North Dakota's KXJB. Rodman continued to say he will be "vacationing" with Kim in August.
Rodman's remarks come amid rising tensions between North Korea and the United States, after the Asian nation threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear attack on the U.S. that would engulf Washington in a "sea of fire."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week wrapped up a tour to coordinate Washington's response with Beijing, North Korea's most important ally, as well as with Seoul and Tokyo.
In Seoul, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told a parliamentary committee Monday that North Korea still appeared poised to launch a missile from its east coast, though he declined to disclose the source of his information.
Kerry warned North Korea not to conduct a missile test, saying it would be provocation that "will raise people's temperatures" and further isolate the country and its impoverished people. He said Sunday that the U.S. was "prepared to reach out," but that Pyongyang must first bring down tensions and honor previous agreements.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.