Despite the US State Department essentially saying that the Google chairman’s North Korean jaunt would be a horrible idea of which they want absolutely no part, this morning, Eric Schmidt landed in North Korea with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in tow.
Presumably, Schmidt hopes to meet with the leaders of the impoverished, communist dictatorship (with notoriously restrictive online policies) and enter into what he terms “one of the last frontiers of cyberspace”.
Richardson has his own business to take care of while he’s in town, although his involves ending the detainment of a US citizen jailed in Pyongyang. Still, he does seem supportive of Schmidt’s efforts. Despite the Google chairman having no stated motive, Richardson called the trip a private, “humanitarian mission” and went on to say that he’s “sure [Schmidt] is interested in some of the economic issues there, the social media aspect.” What that social media aspect is remains a mystery, just as the existence of the Internet itself remains a mystery to many of North Korea’s citizens.
Although, the North Korean countryside is supposed to be beautiful this time of year — maybe he’ll have some luck with Instagram. Just, you know, avoid the labour camps. [Huffington Post]