Former US basketball star Dennis Rodman flew into Singapore late Monday ahead of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, playing down expectations of an immediate breakthrough at the historic meeting, which is taking place presently on Sentosa island.
Rodman, who has struck up an unlikely friendship with the basketball loving North Korean leader, arrived in the city-state some nine hours before Trump met with Kim in a bid to negotiate an end to a decades-old nuclear stand-off.
He said he expected the Trump-Kim summit to "go fairly well" but added "people should not expect too much for the first time".
"I'm just happy to be a part of it," he told reporters at Changi Airport. "I think that I brought awareness to a lot of things around the world and I think North Korea has given a lot of people the opportunity to do this conference now and I hope it's a success. Who knew this would have happened five to six years ago... It's exciting to be a part of it," he added.
Rodman, sporting a black t-shirt advertising a cryptocurrency he is involved with, said he was unsure whether he would get to meet with Kim -- a man he has previously described as a "friend for life".
"Every time I see him it's always a surprise. So maybe tomorrow it's the same thing. Maybe it's a surprise I'll see him tomorrow before he leaves," he said. Rodman has made five trips to Pyongyang since Kim took power.
Rodman broke down in tears live on television Tuesday as he recounted the hostility he faced for meeting dictator Kim Jong Un. Amid a landmark summit between President Donald Trump and the young North Korean strongman, Rodman appeared on CNN to voice hope, and vindication. "I got death threats," Rodman said breaking down in tears. "I couldn't even go home ... I had to hide out for 30 days."
Saying the controversial talks between him and Kim and between Trump and Kim were the right thing to do, Rodman said: "We need the doors to be open and start fresh and make this world a better place, baby, that's it". He appeared on television wearing a Trump supporters' "Make America Great Again" hat and a tee-shirt from his cryptocurrency sponsor.