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One is a former basketball star and the other is the dictator of North Korea.

But their differences seem not to have prevented Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un from striking up a friendship.

The two have reportedly become fast friends after spending quality time together during Rodman's trip to North Korea.

Although the 51-year-old former Celebrity Big Brother was in town to film a documentary with the Harlem Globetrotters, his presence was seen as a masterstroke of international diplomacy.

Their meeting cames amid mounting international tensions over Kim's drive to secure nuclear arms for his impoverished country.

Despite the 21-year age gap, the duo shared their love of basketball at a Globetrotters game and followed it up with a sushi dinner.

Rodman, one of America's biggest sports stars, told the leader, "You have a friend for life" before a crowd of thousands at a mixed teram playoff between North Korean and US players.

"They bonded during the game," Shane Smith, the founder of New-York-based Vice media company said. "They were both enjoying the crazy shots and the Harlem Globetrotters were putting on quite a show."

The flamboyant basketballer is the most high-profile American to meet Kim since the young leader took power in December 2011.

Rodman told Chinese government news agency Xinhua: "About the relationship, no one man can do anything. His country and his people love him. I love him, he is an awesome guy."

As Rodman and Kim's newfound bromance goes from strength to strength, we look back at their special time together.