He rarely referred to Kim by name, frequently calling him "the marshal." Rodman first met Kim, a basketball fan, when traveling to North Korea in February for a film project.
Though saying he didn't want to discuss politics, Rodman raised his voice when answering a questioner about Kim's human rights record and portrayed himself as the person who could make outsiders see the young leader as different than his father and grandfather.
"He has to do his job but he's a very good guy," Rodman said.
"If he wanted to bomb anybody in the world, he would have done it."
Instead, Rodman had harder words for Obama, whom he spoke angrily of while talking to reporters last week after his trip. He talked around a question about American citizen and Christian missionary Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in November and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what Pyongyang described as hostile acts against the state. Kim has the power to grant special pardons under the North's constitution.
Rodman said lobbying for the release of a prisoner wasn't his job, blaming the president for not reaching out to ease tensions between the countries.
"Why Obama, are you afraid to talk to Dennis Rodman?" Rodman said, his voice rising as if he were a professional wrestler -another former pursuit - calling out an opponent. "You're not afraid to talk to Beyonce and Jay-Z, why not me? Why not me? I'm pretty important now, right?"
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf avoided comment Monday on Rodman's trip to North Korea, saying it was a private visit. She said the department was open to hearing about it, although she wasn't aware of any effort by officials to speak to Rodman.
Rodman also said he would interview Kim on live TV during the trip. Organizers said details would be provided at a later date.