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Richardson, Schmidt to visit North Korea next week

  • Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt are to lead a private humanitarian mission to North Korea next week, according to a statement released by Richardson's office on Saturday.

    Richardson is set to hold a press conference at the Beijing airport next Thursday.

    However, no media will be accompanying the delegation.

    The trip comes despite criticism from the U.S. State Department due to tensions over North Korea's recent rocket launch.

    The delegation also includes Jared Cohen, the director of a Google initiative known as Google Ideas. He has also co-authored an upcoming book about how the Internet is changing the world with Schmidt.

    The purpose of the trip and the reasons for Schmidt's involvement are unknown. Google characterized it as "personal" travel while Schmidt did not respond to requests for comment.