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Sunday
Mar032013

White House Responds to Rodman's North Korea Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hours after former NBA star Dennis Rodman made headlines for comments regarding North Korea, the White House responded, saying that North Korea must be willing to "choose the path of peace."

After returning from an unprecedented visit to North Korea last week, former NBA star Dennis Rodman appeared on This Week with ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning.

During the interview, Rodman said of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, "He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him."

Later Sunday, the White House responded to ABC regarding Rodman's comments.

"The U.S. has direct channels of communication with the DPRK," said Caitlin Hayden, spokesman for the National Security Council.

"We have urged the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama's call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with is international obligations," Hayden said, adding that "North Korea's actions, however, directly violate UN Security Council resolutions and threaten international peace and security."

Rodman was joined on the trip by members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and a camera crew from the upcoming HBO series, Vice. During the trip, the Americans were welcomed with an itinerary including ice skating, dinner and drinks, and a basketball exhibition, during which Rodman sat courtside with the North Korean leader.

The White House response urged the North Korean dictator to focus on the well-being of North Korea's people who have been "starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights," instead of staged sporting events.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio