Google exec in North Korea openness call
PYONGYANG (AP) - A private delegation including Google's Eric Schmidt is urging North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens, the mission's leader said on Wednesday in the country with some of the world's tightest controls on information.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said on Wednesday that his nine-member group also called on North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests that have prompted UN sanctions and asked for fair and humane treatment for an American citizen detained there.
The visit has been criticised for appearing to hijack US diplomacy and boost Pyongyang's profile after North Korea's latest, widely condemned rocket launch. Mr Richardson has said has said the delegation is on a private, humanitarian trip.
Mr Schmidt, the executive chairman of the US-based Internet giant Google, is the highest-profile American business executive to visit North Korea since leader Kim Jong Un took power a year ago.