Google exec makes mysterious N. Korea visit

Google exec makes mysterious N. Korea visit

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) claps during an unveiling ceremony of statues of his late father Kim Jong-Il and grand-father Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 13, 2012. North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un on April 13 led a mass rally for his late father and grandfather following the country's failed rocket launch. AFP PHOTO/PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 10:26 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Google's executive chairman is starting a visit to North Korea that has prompted controversy and fascination.

Eric Schmidt of Google arrived Monday in a country considered to have the world's most restrictive Internet policies. He is part of a delegation that includes former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

It is the first trip by an executive from the California-based Internet search provider to North Korea.

Also on the trip is Jared Cohen, director of the Google Ideas think tank. Cohen is a former State Department policy adviser.

Washington has criticized the trip as not "helpful."

North Korea has drawn criticism for launching a long-range rocket last month.

Richardson calls the trip a "private humanitarian mission" but it's not clear what the group hopes to accomplish during the visit.

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