Google presses Schmidt North Korean officials for the open web

Eric Schmidt has completed a controversial visit to North Korea on Thursday, saying that his private delegation informed the authorities that the Internet world was essential to the development of its economy.

"As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be practically isolated is going to affect their vision of the world," he told reporters on his return to Beijing, according to a Wall Street Journal account. Lack of access "would make it more difficult for them to catch up economically. Alternative We made this very, very clear," he added.

Despite U.S. opposition to the official visit, the executive chairman of Google went to the reclusive nation on Monday as part of a delegation led by the former governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, who described the trip as a "private humanitarian mission."

"We had a good opportunity to talk about expanding Internet and cell phones in the DPRK," Richardson told the Associated Press before his departure for Beijing.The U.S. State Department had discouraged the visit, saying that the time was not conducive to the delegation to visit the country, which is subject to U.S. economic sanctions. A department spokesman quoted recently missile launches by North Korea as a reason to oppose the visit

During the visit, the delegation, which also included Jared Cohen, head of Google Ideas, had a visit from a computer lab of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, where a student has shown how it is put online look at reading material from Cornell University.

It is not known if the delegation had the opportunity to learn about Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American whose arrest on unspecified charges was announced by North Korea last month ....
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