Photo: Jay Yarow, Business Insider
We finally learned why Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is in North Korea.Two words: Internet freedom.
Schmidt along with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and other members of the “Google delegation” are in North Korea to urge regime officials to let more people access the Internet openly and to let them use cell phones, Jean Lee at the Associated Press reports.
Few people in North Korea can use the whole Internet — most are forced to use an incredibly limited network.
Richardson told the AP that they’re also asking the country to suspend its missile launches and nuclear tests, and treat an American citizen detained in the country fairly and humanely.
News of Schmidt’s trip came as a surprise to many people. Most notably, the U.S. State Department didn’t think it was a particularly good time to take a trip to North Korea, given the country’s recent missile launch.
But now that it’s clear what Schmidt is doing in North Korea, it makes a lot of sense. Schmidt has been a long-time proponent of Internet openness and connectivity. He even has a book coming out in April called The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.