Irish News

Saturday 26 July 2014

TodayFM’s Matt Cooper travels to North Korea with Dennis Rodman

Published 06/01/2014|07:55

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Matt Cooper was in the shot on Sky News this morning.
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, center, gestures to the media as he arrives at the departure hall of Beijing International Capital Airport in Beijing Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Rodman says he's going forward with an exhibition game including former NBA players in North Korea because he wants to connect with its people and let others know the sheltered communist country isn't so bad. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, center, with Matt Cooper behind. Photo: AP

TODAYFM has confirmed that Matt Cooper is travelling to North Korea with Dennis Rodman – after he was with the sport star on Sky News.

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The TodayFM presenter was in the shot with Rodman who was being interviewed ahead of his departure to North Korea.

Rodman is heading to the state with retired NBA stars for a friendly match against North Korean players - which coincides with leader Kim Jung-Un's birthday.

Cooper interviewed the player recently on his radio programme.

A TodayFM spokesperson confirmed the trip, however stressed Cooper was travelling in an independent capacity and not on a work assignment for the station.

"We can confirm that Matt Cooper is travelling to North Korea. Matt has taken annual leave from Today FM and is travelling in an independent capacity on this trip", the spokesperson told Independent.ie this morning.

Basketball star Rodman has been a regular visitor to the secretive state in recent years.

The reclusive state’s leader is believed to be preparing to loosen the country's strict tourism visa laws, after tourism was identified as a possible means to prop up the country’s dwindling finances.

This will be Rodman's fourth trip to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, where he and his team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games on Kim's birthday, which is believed to fall on Wednesday, although it has never been officially confirmed.

On previous visits, Rodman spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip.

 

Brian O'Reilly

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