Google Executive Chairman Lands In North Korea For Controversial Trip - NBC Bay Area
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Google Executive Chairman Lands In North Korea For Controversial Trip

"Social media" focus of junket to Internet-less nation



    Google Executive Chairman Lands In North Korea For Controversial Trip
    In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, center, and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, third right, arrive 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/Xinhua, Zhang Li) NO SALES

    If only Nixon could go to China, thus far, it is only Google that has gone to North Korea.

    The executive chairman of one of the West's biggest and most influential companies entered the West's most sworn enemy, with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt's arrival in North Korea on Monday, according to reports.

    Schmidt is in North Korea, possibly the world's most reclusive, most-secretive and most-repressive nation, in order to take a peek at the Communist nation's "economy and social media," according to the Associated Press.

    Schmidt is the highest-ranking American business executive ever to visit North Korea, the AP reported. The visit has drawn criticism from the U.S. State Department, as only a few weeks ago, young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's military tested a missile.

    Schmidt flew to Pyongyang on a commercial flight on Air China from Beijing with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, a frequent traveler to North Korea, in tow.

    There is speculation as to what Schmidt and Richardson mean by the "social media aspect" of the trip. North Korea does not have Facebook or Twitter. In fact, North Koreans can't use the Internet.

    There is also speculation in Washington as to exactly what Schmidt hopes to accomplish in a place with restrictive online policies and state-run businesses.

    Schmidt is expected to make a donation to Kim Jong Un's nation. Kim Jong Un has said that technology is necessary to help expand the impoverished nation's economy.