Time not right for Google executive's North Korea trip: US
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States (US) State Department said on Thursday the time was not right for Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and former diplomat Bill Richardson to visit North Korea, which drew international criticism for a rocket launch last month.
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said Mr Schmidt and Mr Richardson would be travelling as private citizens, not representatives of the US government.
"Frankly, we don't think the timing of this is particularly helpful," Ms Nuland told reporters, citing North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket in December. "They are well aware of our views."
Reports of Mr Schmidt's plan emerged as the US, South Korea, Japan and their European allies were pushing at the United Nations (UN) to expand long-standing UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea after the North's Dec 12 rocket launch.