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New Mexico Telegram » National News » Richardson, Schmidt arrive in North Korea

Richardson, Schmidt arrive in North Korea

Former Gov. Bill Richardson and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt arrived in North Korea according to multiple reports.

The two are in the secretive nation for a “private humanitarian visit.” Richardson has said he is visiting to seek the release of Kenneth Bae, a naturalized United States citizen who was born in South Korea. Bae is

The U.S. State Department is not in favor of the high-profile trip. They say the timing is not ideal, after North Korea launched a long range rocket last month.

Richardson is a former United States ambassador to the United Nations who has had a number of contacts with North Korea. This includes a trip by North Korean officials to Santa Fe to ostensibly discuss renewable energy while Richardson was still in office.

Reuters reports:

Last year, Jared and Schmidt met defectors from North Korea, a state that ranks bottom of Reporters Without Borders annual survey of Internet and press freedom.

Media reports and think tanks say that officials from the North Korean government went to Google’s headquarters in 2011, something the U.S. technology giant declined to comment on.

Reuters says that Google characterized Schmidt’s visit as “personal travel.”

North Korea has extensive control over the internet, with only a small group of elites allowed to access the internet.

The trip is supposed to last four days.

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Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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