Google Chief Heads to North Korea
Pair begin controversial 4-day visit
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2013 3:58 AM CST
Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, center, is chased by journalists as he prepares to check in at the Beijing Capital International Airport today.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson headed out today on their controversial four-day private visit to North Korea, Reuters reports. US officials have strongly criticized the visit—the first for Schmidt but at least the sixth for Richardson—because it comes as the UN Security Council is still debating how to respond to the country's rocket launch last month. Before the flight, Richardson called the trip a private, humanitarian mission, the AP reports.

"This is not a Google trip, but I'm sure (Schmidt is) interested in some of the economic issues there, the social media aspect. So this is why we are teamed up on this," Richardson said. "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," he said. Richardson is also expected to seek the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American tour guide detained last year.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
right2dave
Jan 7, 2013 6:29 PM CST
Schmidt looking for new market and Richardson wants some camera time. Who cares what the country's leadership thinks is the best for the country.
Zero_for_President
Jan 7, 2013 12:52 PM CST
Here's what I wrote the North Koreans last year: http://www.joeqpublic.com/dprk.pdf Americans will go to their own death camps with NDAA 2012 http://www.JustBelieve2012.com
HANKHILL
Jan 7, 2013 12:05 PM CST
good for him he should stay there!