News / USA

US: Bad Timing for Google Exec's N. Korea Trip

FILE - Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt in London, July 26, 2012.
FILE - Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt in London, July 26, 2012.
Reuters
The U.S. State Department said on Thursday the time was not right for Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and former diplomat Bill Richardson to travel to North Korea.
 
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said Schmidt and Richardson would be traveling as private citizens, not representatives of the U.S. government.
 
"Frankly, we don't think the timing of this is particularly helpful," Nuland told reporters, citing Pyongyang's December launch of a long-range rocket. "They are well aware of our views."
 
FILE - Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson fields a question during a symposium at the University of Southern California, September 24, 2012.FILE - Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson fields a question during a symposium at the University of Southern California, September 24, 2012.
x
FILE - Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson fields a question during a symposium at the University of Southern California, September 24, 2012.
FILE - Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson fields a question during a symposium at the University of Southern California, September 24, 2012.
A source familiar with the matter on Thursday confirmed an Associated Press report that Schmidt planned to visit North Korea with Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and diplomatic troubleshooter.
 
The AP said Schmidt, a top figure in the U.S. technology industry and a key executive at the world's leading search engine company, could visit as early as this month, but it said it was unclear who he would meet or what his agenda is.
 
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. North Korea is one of the world's most repressive states, with Internet access limited largely to the most influential officials and media content rigidly controlled.
 
Nuland stressed that Schmidt and Richardson were not acting on behalf of the United States.
 
"They are private citizens ... traveling in an unofficial capacity," she said. "They are not going to be accompanied by any U.S. officials; they are not carrying any messages from us. They are private citizens and they are making their own decisions."
 
On Wednesday, Google did not directly respond to a question about whether Schmidt was going to North Korea, although Google spokeswoman Samantha Smith's response suggested a visit would not be for company business.
 
"We do not comment on personal travel," said Smith when asked about the AP report on Wednesday.
 
North Korea said its Dec. 12 rocket launch put a weather satellite in orbit, but critics say it was aimed at nurturing the kind of technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid