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Dennis Rodman Sorry About N. Korea Outburst I WAS BOOZED UP

1/9/2014 6:13 AM PST

Dennis Rodman -- Sorry About N. Korea Outburst ... I WAS BOOZED UP

Dennis Rodman is blaming the a-a-a-alcohol for his wild screaming North Korea-defending outburst on CNN this week ... saying he was drinking before he went on live TV.

During the maniacal rant, Rodman -- who's in N. Korea -- defended dictator/tiny person Kim Jong-Un's decision to imprison American Kenneth Bae, even though N. Korea won't say why Bae is being punished.

Now, Rodman is backpedaling HARD ... saying, "I embarrassed a lot of people. I'm very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I'm truly sorry."

He continued, "I had been drinking ... It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed."

Rodman also issued an apology to Kenneth Bae's family, his teammates and CNN host Chris Cuomo ... the target of Rodman's outburst.

Rodman says some of his basketball friends -- who joined him on the trip -- were leaving the country because after his outburst, their dream of "basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart." Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!


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