59°
Cloudy
THU
 89°
 56°
FRI
 84°
 54°
SAT
 88°
 54°
SUN
 87°
 58°
MON
 88°
 57°

Google's Schmidt visits North Korea

  • Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google arrives at an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. The Google chairman wants a first-hand look at North Korea's economy and social media in his private visit Monday to the communist nation, his delegation said, despite misgivings in Washington over the timing of the trip. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Google's chairman wants a firsthand look at North Korea's economy and social media landscape during his private visit Monday to the communist nation, his delegation said, despite misgivings in Washington over the timing of the trip.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of one of the world's biggest Internet companies, is the highest-profile U.S. executive to visit North Korea — a country with notoriously restrictive online policies — since young leader Kim Jong Un took power a year ago. His visit has drawn criticism from the U.S. State Department because it comes only weeks after a controversial North Korean rocket launch; it has also prompted speculation about what the businessman hopes to accomplish.

Schmidt arrived on a commercial Air China flight with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has traveled more than a half-dozen times to North Korea over the past 20 years.

Richardson, speaking ahead of the flight from Beijing, called the trip a private, humanitarian mission.

"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," Richardson said without elaborating on what he meant by the "social media aspect."


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View