Dennis Rodman just wants to go to North Korea with a bunch of other basketball players and celebrate Kim Jong Un‘s birthday without anybody bringing up prison camps or executions. Is that so much to ask?

Rodman, also known as The Worm, made his fourth trip to the country this week, this time to play in a basketball exhibition match-up between a team of American all-stars and a new North Korean team — all in honor of Kim Jong Un’s birthday.

On the way to his flight, Rodman was, as usual, bombarded with questions about whether he will discuss with Kim the massive human rights violations going on in the country — including some 200,000 people currently in prison camps. Not to mention the rumors started by a Chinese news agency that Kim fed his own uncle to a pack of 120 starving dogs.

“This game is for [Kim's] birthday,” Rodman said. “It’s for his birthday.”

“I’m hoping that if this opens the doors, that we can actually talk about certain things, we can do certain things,” he continued. “But I’m not gonna sit there and go over and say, ‘Hey, guy, you’re doing the wrong that.’ That’s not the right thing to do. He’s my friend first. He’s my friend. I don’t give a shit. I tell the world: he’s my f*cking friend, I love him.”

“I’m not a president. I’m just a guy that wants to go over and just have a good time,” Rodman added.


This is pretty much in line with Rodman’s head-in-the-sand stance on North Korea. For instance, he told the Associated Press earlier this week: “People say so many negative things about North Korea. And I want people in the world to see it’s not that bad.”

Perhaps he has a point: There were all those rumors that Kim Jong Un executed his deposed uncle by throwing him to a pack of wild dogs — rumors that appear to have been the product of a satirical Chinese site. In reality, Kim’s uncle was indeed executed, possibly by firing squad. Totally not that bad.

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