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Google’s Eric Schmidt on trip to North Korea

North Korea’s a “very strange place,” eh?

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Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, traveled to North Korea earlier this year in an attempt to convince the country’s leaders to open Internet channels. He told MSNBC’s Louis Burgdorf in an Afternoon Mo’ Joe greenroom interview that North Koreans have access to cell phones but lack the data signals for communication because the government refuses to release the required access. The entire Western world not only connects to the Internet, but can also acquire fast service guaranteed by carriers.

The North Korean government’s level of control is “astounding” and “disturbing,” Schmidt said.

“Our goal was to get them to open it up just a little bit so at least people could have a little bit of a sense that maybe what the government is saying was not all the truth,” he said. “I don’t know if we had an impact, but it was a very strange place.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say your impact was limited.

N. Koreans treat Schmidt like ‘rock star.’ Or so says Bill Richardson.

North Korea’s favorite ex-governor says North Korea gave Google CEO Eric Schmidt “rock star” treatment:

“Eric Schmidt was like a rock star there, talking to people, to students to scientists, to software engineers about the importance of the Internet,” Richardson told CNN. “I think it is important that we not isolate the North Koreans.”

The former U.S. official said the “private, humanitarian” mission had three goals: to urge the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to refrain from nuclear weapons testing; to check on an American detained there; and encourage greater openness to information.

It would be easier not to isolate the North Koreans if the North Koreans stopped doing things to isolate themselves.

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.

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