06/01/2014 05:14 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 10:53 GMT

Dennis Rodman Reveals Bromance With Kim Jong-Un As He Returns To North Korea

Dennis Rodman has said he "loves" Kim Jong-Un, as he heads back to Pyongyang to celebrate the North Korean leader's birthday.

It is almost universally accepted that North Korea has the most appalling human rights record in the world.

Asked by Sky News whether he would bring up the subject of labour camps, the US basketball star said it was not his job, in comments that read like a cut scene from Team America: World Police.

READ MORE: Was Story About Kim Jong-Un's Executed Uncle Being Eaten By 120 Wild Dogs Based On Satirical Tweet?

Given his access to the secretive dictator, Sky News put it to him that it was his responsibility to raise the issue.

"I am not going to sit there and go in and say 'hey guy, you’re doing the wrong thing'," he responded.

"That’s not the right thing to do. He’s my friend first. He’s my friend. I don’t give a ****.

"I tell the world: he’s my ******* friend, I love him."

He claimed that "when the time comes" he will discuss the human rights issues.

He is travelling to Pyongyang with a group of 11 American basketball players for a match marking the dictator's birthday on Wednesday.

Bizarrely, the trip was due to be sponsored by the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which we had to check was not in fact a report issued by the US satirical news siteThe Onion.

But on Christmas Eve, the bookmaker claimed it had pulled its participation from the tactfully named “Big Bang in Pyongyang”.

"Given changed circumstances, Paddy Power has decided to withdraw its association with the Dennis Rodman basketball initiative in North Korea," the company said in a statement.

However, Sky News reported that the bookmaker is still providing private funding for the trip, which it catch-phrased "Hoops not Nukes".