- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2014

Dennis Rodman — on record several times referring to North Korea’s dictator as his lifelong friend — now says Kim Jong-un didn’t order his uncle and ex-girlfriend to be killed.

They were both “standing right behind me” during my most recent visit to the country, the retired professional basketball player said during an interview with DuJour magazine.

Media around the world reported a few months ago that Mr. Kim executed his uncle, a family member who wielded considerable power in the nation and who was viewed as the second-in-charge. Various reports also said that the dictator then purged his uncle’s family and ordered them killed, as well as his ex-girlfriend. North Korea has never confirmed the executions.

But Mr. Rodman said the killings never happened.

He also said that the U.S. government has warned him on a couple of occasions that he may not be let back into America if he tries to visit North Korea again, Newsmax reported.

“They’re afraid of me because I know so much,” Mr. Rodman said.

He went on to say the North Korea wants peace with America and that Mr. Kim only seeks nuclear weapons in order to approach the United States on a playing field that’s been leveled.

He also answered a question about North Korea’s many labor camps that are used primarily for political dissenters this way: “You can name any country in the world. … Which country does not have that [expletive]? Every country has that,” he said in the magazine.