Google’s Executive Chairman Going to North Korea?

by Jordan Richardson on January 3, 2013

Despite having some of the most obstructive Internet policies on the planet, it looks like North Korea is getting set to welcome Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is going to North Korea on a private trip with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Sources informed the Associated Press of the trip on Wednesday.

North Korea does not have diplomatic relations with the United States, hence the cloistered nature of the trip, and it isn’t clear as to whom Mr. Google and Mr. Richardson will be meeting.

But the trip is expected to go down in the next few weeks, with the American delegation to Pyongyang stepping into a land of apprehensive evolution.

North Korean supreme leader and basketball enthusiast Kim Jong-un may not be on the docket to meet Schmidt and Co., but he did strike a slightly more conciliatory tone in a New Year’s address. He told North Koreans to prepare for an “all-out struggle” to renovate the economy and even reached out to South Korea, something his father and sunglasses aficionado Kim Jong-il would probably not have approved of.

So are the doors open for some sort of technological revolution in North Korea? That’s hard to say. Schmidt will be taking his free Internet theology with him even so, but it remains to be seen exactly how his arguments will fall on North Korean ears.

That’s not to say that North Korea still doesn’t scare the collective crap out of world leaders or that the Google visit represents the instantaneous institution of free and open Internet in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The totalitarian state is still one of the world’s worst human rights violators and is still every bit the Hermit Kingdom its Joseon beneficiary was.

At this point and time, the frigid relationship North Korea shares with most of the world is intact. Schmidt has made inroads in some comparable societies, though, and this could be another chance for him to share the Good News. Google has offices in over 40 countries, including Russia and China, so there’s no telling how things could go in North Korea or if Schmidt will get to see the dolphinarium.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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{ 2 trackbacks }

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January 4, 2013 at 6:03 am
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