“Google Inc’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, will travel this year to reclusive North Korea, where Internet use is subject to some of the world’s tightest controls, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Schmidt, one of the highest-profile leaders of the U.S. technology industry, could visit as early as this month, the AP said. The announcement was made days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the third member of his family to rule the country since its inception in the Cold War, signalled a willingness to improve relations with South Korea,” Reuters reports. “The AP cited two people familiar with his plans as saying the ex-Google CEO will join a private group led by former United Nations Ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, a frequent visitor to North Korea.”
“It was unclear whom Schmidt will meet or what his agenda might be, the AP reported. Internet access is largely restricted to all but the most influential officials of the reclusive state. Media content is also rigidly controlled,” Reuters reports. “Google did not directly respond to a question about whether Schmidt was going to North Korea, although a spokeswoman’s response suggested a visit would not be for company business.”
MacDailyNews Take: Who better to get info out of the DPRK black hole than Eric T. Mole?
Reuters reports, “Schmidt, Google’s main political and government relations representative, has also been a prominent supporter of President Barack Obama.”
MacDailyNews Note: Eric Schmidt serves as an advisor on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST is an advisory group of scientists and engineers who directly advise the president and the executive office of the president. The current PCAST group was originally established through Executive Order 13226 and restablished by President Barack Obama.
Schmidt is writing, with former U.S. state department official Jared Cohen, a book due in April called ‘The New Digital Age.’ It will address how the Internet and technology can empower people and drive fundamental social, political and economic change. ‘Perhaps the most intriguing part of this trip is simply the idea of it. The restricted control of information lies at the heart of the DPRK state and yet it is about to host one of the West’s greatest facilitators of borderless information flows,’ said Victor Cha, a senior adviser and Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Send in the Mole! He got info out of Steve Jobs’ Apple fortress; the DPRK information bubble doesn’t stand a chance.