N. Korean leader enjoys opulent lifestyle, Rodman says

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un enjoys a luxurious life with seven-star accommodations, parties and a yacht, UK media reported.

Rodman, who made his second visit to the communist country for seven days in September, provided a glimpse of the private island where he and his "friend" Kim spent most of their time horse-riding, jet skiing and drinking on a 60-metre yacht.

"It's like going to Hawaii or Ibiza, but he's the only one that lives there," the 52-year-old retired basketball player said in an interview with The Sun.

"He likes people to be happy around him. He's got 50 to 60 around him all the time ― just normal people, drinking cocktails and laughing the whole time."

Rodman added that Kim's private island had seven-star facilities that could impress the world's wealthiest people.

North Korea's imports of luxury goods have soared under the current leader, reaching US$645.8 million (S$800 million) in 2012, more than double the average $300 million a year under his late father Kim Jong-il, according to data from ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker Rep. Yoon Sang-hyun.

The report showed the most noticeable surge was found in imports of high-end liquors and electric appliances.

North Korea's authoritarian leader, known to be a big fan of basketball, first invited the former Chicago Bulls player in late February. They watched an exhibition basketball game, and then later drank and dined together in Pyongyang.