US not happy about Eric Schmidt going to North Korea

Looks like the State Department ain’t happy with Google chairman’s decision to join Bill Richardson on a trip to North Korea:

The reason for the trip has not yet been revealed, but reports say it is part of a humanitarian mission led by US politician Bill Richardson.

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: “We don’t think the timing of this is particularly helpful.”

Ms Nuland added that Mr Schmidt and Mr Richardson were “well aware” of the US government’s views.

Why Schmidt would even want to go to North Korea, I have no idea, but hey, knock yourself out. Maybe make sure Uncle Jang Song-thaek knows how to turn the SafeSearch filter off while you’re up there.

  • Django

    He was so enamored with the Korean singer/dancer named Psy’s horse dance that he was hoping to see him there and do it again.

  • dlbarch

    If DoD were against this trip, then I might care, but reflexively, if Foggy Bottom is against it, well, then, it can’t be all bad.


  • mightymouse

    A vacation trip perhaps? 

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I thought the same thing.  Who wouldn’t want to be in Pyeongyang in the dead of Winter?

  • YVRFlyer

    Once they set up in the DPRK, given how Google’s algorithms work, the Brilliant Commander will be annoyed when he finds out the top search item in his country is: “리설주 누드 사진”

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Don’t you think that the Brilliant Commander, as brilliant and in command as he is, already knows that? 

  • YVRFlyer

    I’m sure Uncle Song-Thaek makes sure the SafeSearch filter is on whenever the boss uses the computer. 

  • YangachiBastardo

    X-mas in St. Barts every year can quickly get boring 

  • mightymouse

    Remember they say it is a workers paradise over there. 

  • Cloudfive

    Schmidt is going to offer Jong-un a youtube partnership and personally show him how to upload videos of his pet cat 호랑이, a Scottish Fold Bengal. Millions of subscribers, even dog people, will want to catch a rare glimpse into the home life of the Supreme Leader. Not only will it bring in dollars(is it still called hard currency?), it will do wonders to soften his image worldwide.

  • Jang

    What has Hines Ward been up to since his retirement from the NFL?  I didn’t notice him until today at halftime of the Texans/Bengals game when he spewed out some mush.  NBC had announced Ward was going to join the Sunday night football sports team last May and his debut was in Aug.  After listening to him today at halftime with Bob Costas and Chris Collinsworth I’d say he hasn’t improved much from when the article below dogged him.
    “Collinsworth asked Ward what he thought of the Steelers offense.

    “I saw more of a controlled passing attack, the offensive line has
    done a great job of protecting Ben this game. One thing that I’m missing
    is that deep threat. Not having Mike Wallace out there, I haven’t seen a
    whole lot of shots being taken down the field. Hopefully when Mikes
    (sic) comes back, ya know, we can go out and, uh, you can see Mike make
    some big plays.”

    Cardinal rule of the former player in the broadcast booth. Never attach yourself to a team by using the pronoun “we.”

    “It was so poorly timed of a slip, they even brought him back on the air after the game for a “mea culpa” over the slip.

    Poor Hines. He’s probably barely even used to what he’s doing, and
    there’s little to suggest he wasn’t completely serious about his
    comparison of being at Heinz Field but not in uniform to an episode of
    the Twilight Zone. He stumbles over Mike Wallace’s first name, and reverts back to the team he’s been a part of for the last 14 years”

  • dlbarch

    At lunch today, the topic of Schmidt’s visit to PY came up, and someone joked that maybe Schmidt has come down with a case of the Pitch Johnson syndrome (SV types will recognize the name).

    Johnson, recall, is the lord of SV venture capitalism who has made something like a dozen visits (dare one say pilgrimages) to Cuba over the last decade trying to convert the Castro regime to the benefits of capitalism!

    If so, good luck, Eric.



  • mightymouse

    Oh I get it. A PR campaign that nobody believes.

  • Mr Yu

     Yep,  another example of a corporate boss with visions of sugar plums who thinks he can get in on the ground floor of an investment opportunity in NK and make a killing.  There will be a killing alright, most likely whatever $$$ Google puts in the NK kitty.

  • dlbarch

    Well, recall that a delegation from NK actually visited Google here in SV first, last spring:

    Recall also that Schmidt is being accompanied  by Jared Cohen, head of Google’s Ideas Lab and a former official under SecState Rice and later Hillary Clinton. Cohen is the same guy who hosted a group of North Korean defectors at a confab in LA last summer where they spoke on the brutal hardships of life in NoKo. He is not a push-over.

    Of course, that’s not stopping the professional NoKo-watching commentariat from calling Schmidt “naive,’ etc. etc. But Richardson and Schmidt are due back in Beijing on the 10th, and a press conference is scheduled.

    In other words, we’ll all find out soon enough what they were up to.