Dennis Rodman says North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un did not have his uncle and ex-girlfriend
In fact, the former professional basketball player said he saw them alive and well during this last visit to the communist country.
In an interview with DuJour magazine
, Rodman said that despite official reports from the North Korean government that Kim's uncle was executed, the uncle and ex-girlfriend were "standing right behind me."
Rodman has taken flak
for palling around with the young, diminutive dictator on two separate trips to the country. He says he's been warned by the U.S. government that if he returns to North Korea, the United States might not let him return home.
"They’re afraid of me because I know so much," Rodman said.
Rodman painted a rosy picture of the country that has been led by Kim's grandfather and father for more than 60 years. He said Kim is different than his brutal predecessors and wants to change things.
And, he said, Kim wants to make peace with the United States. He has nuclear weapons, he said, only because he wants to have bargaining power with the much larger United States.
Challenged by his interviewer about hundreds of thousands starving in labor camps, Rodman insisted, "You name any country in the world … Which country does not have that [expletive]? Every country has that."
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