SEOUL, South Korea – Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining on sushi and drinking with him at his palace.

“You have a friend for life,” Rodman told Kim before a crowd of thousands at a gymnasium where they sat side by side, chatting as they watched U.S. and North Korean players, said Alex Detrick, a spokesman for the New York-based VICE media company.

Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters, VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy and a production crew to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series.

The unlikely encounter makes Rodman the most high-profile American to meet Kim since the young North Korean leader took power in December 2011, and takes place against a backdrop of tension between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test just two weeks ago, making clear the provocative act was a warning to the United States to drop what it considers a “hostile” policy toward the North.

Kim, a diehard basketball fan, told the former Chicago Bulls star he hoped the visit would break the ice between the United States and North Korea, VICE founder Shane Smith said.

Dressed in a blue Mao suit, Kim sat nearly knee to knee with Rodman. “The crowd was really engaged, laughed at all of the Globetrotters antics, and actually got super loud towards the end as the score got close,” said Duffy, who suited up for the game in a blue uniform emblazoned with “United States of America. “Most fun I’ve had in a while.”

Kim and Rodman chatted in English, but Kim primarily spoke in Korean through a translator, Smith said after speaking to the VICE crew in Pyongyang.

“They bonded during the game,” Smith said by telephone from New York after speaking to the crew. “They were both enjoying the crazy shots, and the Harlem Globetrotters were putting on quite a show.”

Simon Cowell sets sights on Internet talent show

LONDON – Simon Cowell has taken over television screens and radio airwaves around the world. Now he’s taking aim at the Internet.

Cowell’s Syco Entertainment empire and YouTube announced Thursday that they are launching “The You Generation,” a global online talent contest that is seeking entries from people with “unconventional and original talents” — from musicians and photographers to makeup artists, magicians and chefs.

Syco says the contest will seek auditions in a different category of talent every two weeks.

‘Girls Gone Wild’ files for bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES – The company behind the “Girls Gone Wild” video empire has filed for bankruptcy in a move it says is an effort to restructure its legal affairs after several disputed court judgments.

GGW Brands LLC and several subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday in Los Angeles, listing more than $16 million in disputed claims.

The largest claim is $10.3 million that Wynn Resorts Limited is seeking from the company for judgments entered against “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis over a gambling debt and statements he has made about the casino and its founder, Steve Wynn.

Francis no longer owns the company, which has made a fortune selling videos and magazines of young women flashing their breasts.