Google executive chairman to visit N. Korea: AP
WASHINGTON - Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is planning to visit North Korea as early as this month, accompanying a humanitarian mission led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the travel plan.
Schmidt is pushing science and technology as a path to economic development for the impoverished country, the AP said. "It was not immediately clear who Schmidt and Richardson expect to meet in North Korea," it said.
The travel plan emerged at a time when an American citizen with Korean descent has been detained in North Korea on the grounds that he committed hostile acts against the country.
Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who often served as an envoy to North Korea, which does not have diplomatic relations with the United States, will try to see North Korean officials to discuss the case, the AP said.
It would be the first trip to North Korea by a top executive from U.S.-based Google, the world's largest Internet search provider, the AP said.
A group of North Koreans visited Google headquarters in California last year, according to the AP.