We’ve reported over the week about the North Korea trip currently under way by Google‘s Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Today, some information about the trip has been revealed detailing urges for less restrictive Internet and cell phone policies in the nation. Richardson will be holding a conference at the Beijing airport tomorrow.
The delegation is composed of nine individuals and does not include any press. The group is reported to have appealed for humane treatment of Kenneth Bae, a detained tourist who was arrested last year. Likewise, they are encouraging the nation to implement a moratorium on rocket launches, which have caused tension and sanctions.
The trip itself is a private humanitarian effort, with Schmidt joining it of his own volition, not on behalf of Google, as is usually the case. He’s reported to have joined the delegation out of curiosity about various issues with North Korea, but has not personally stated his reasons for going. Richardson is a frequent visitor to the nation.
The U.S. government has been fairly critical of the trip, stating that it is taking place during a period of tension following North Korea’s last rocket launch in the past weeks. The US State Department’s spokeswoman Victoria Nuland offered this statement. “Frankly, we don’t think the timing of this is particularly helpful, but they are private citizens and they are making their own decisions. They are not carrying any messages from us.”
[via Washington Post]