Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson are due in North Korea on a visit which the US government has described as ‘unhelpful’.
Mr Richardson said that the visit was ‘a private humanitarian mission’. The former governor has been to North Korea several times before, including December 2010. He has helped to secure the release of detained US Nationals.
The BBC add “After his most recent visit he said Pyongyang had agreed to re-open its nuclear facilities to UN inspectors, but this did not transpire.
The detained US national is Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in November in circumstances that are not clear. North Korea has in the past released detained Americans after high-profile US visits.”
Google are maintaining a cool distance from Eric Schmidt on this trip refusing to offer a comment. Mr Richardson was keen to speak up however, saying “This is not a Google trip, but I’m sure he’s interested in some of the economic issues there, the social media aspect. So this is why we are teamed up on this.”
“We’ll meet with North Korean political leaders. We’ll meet with North Korean economic leaders, military. We’ll visit some universities. We don’t control the visit. They will let us know what the schedule is when we get there.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said “We don’t think the timing of this is particularly helpful.”
Kitguru says: A visit like this will always be seen as ‘controversial’ by many people.