Dennis Rodman has karaoke sessions with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The 56-year-old retired basketball star has known the controversial politician since 2013, and has said their unlikely friendship sees the pair get together for karaoke nights, as well as embarking on skiing trips, horse riding, and talking about anything other than politics.

He said: ''It was the fact that he loves basketball and I think that's the key for anything in the world - basketball and music. I think that's a great connection for anyone in the world, it so happens it has to be me. He obviously likes the Chicago Bulls, he asked me to come over and I said yes.

''It's amazing how we became such good friends with Russia all of a sudden with Donald Trump. For years and years over the course of time we became such a great relationship with Russia all of a sudden in America. But for some reason we have a big issue with North Korea. For me to go over there and see him as much as I have, I basically hang out with him all the time, we laugh, we sing karaoke, we do a lot of cool things together. We ride horses, we hang out, we go skiing, we hardly ever talk politics and that's the good thing about that.''

And Dennis insists their friendship has nothing to do with politics, as he's an ''ambassador for sports'', and thinks the rocky relations between North Korea and the US should be dealt with by President Trump.

He added: It's just funny the fact that me saying something like that and people saying, 'Oh my god Dennis Rodman protecting the marshal of North Korea'. It's not about that. My whole mission and my whole goal was to go over and bring sports, to bring connection to North Korea. I've always said I'm not a politician, at all. Not at all. I've always said that from day one. I said that is the government of the United States and the president. I just go over there to be an ambassador for sports.''

Despite 35-year-old Kim Jong-un's reputation, Dennis says the leader is ''always smiling'' when the pair spend time together.

Speaking on UK television show 'Good Morning Britain', he said: ''Every time I see him he's always calm, he's always smiling, especially with his family. He's always just to me, in person, the things that's going on on TV and you know potentially a war something like that, but you see him sit at a table he's just like anyone else to me, he's always laughing, smiling, talking to his people, that's it.

''I don't love him. I just want to try to straighten things out for everyone to get along together, that's it.''