News / Asia

Private American Delegation Visits North Korea

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, second from right, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, left, leave after their meeting at a hotel in Beijing, January 7, 2013.Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, second from right, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, left, leave after their meeting at a hotel in Beijing, January 7, 2013.
x
Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, second from right, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, left, leave after their meeting at a hotel in Beijing, January 7, 2013.
Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, second from right, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, left, leave after their meeting at a hotel in Beijing, January 7, 2013.
VOA News
Two high-profile Americans are in North Korea, for the start of a visit that has already rankled officials at the U.S. State Department.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt arrived in snow-covered Pyongyang late Monday.

Richardson told reporters he and Schmidt have concerns about what is going on in North Korea, though they have no messages from the U.S. government.

"This is a private humanitarian visit," he said. "We are here as individual American citizens looking at the humanitarian situation. We are going to ask about the American detainee who is here. We are interested in the economic and political situation. We are concerned about the missile launches and we are concerned about the importance of dialogue."

Richardson and Schmidt are scheduled to meet with North Korean political, economic and military leaders.

Richardson has long said he wants information about Korean-American citizen Kenneth Bae, who is being held in the North on unspecified charges of crimes against the state.

The U.S. State Department has criticized the timing of the trip.  The visit comes after North Korea tested a long-range rocket, clearing the way for a possible third nuclear test.

Before leaving for Pyongyang, Richardson said the State Department has no reason to be nervous.

Schmidt has served as Google's main political and government relations representative and has been a vocal supporter of providing people around the world with Internet access.

Internet access is restricted to all but the most privileged and influential in North Korea. Media access is also tightly controlled, with Pyongyang demanding that all radios and televisions be pre-tuned to receive only government approved channels.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid