U.S. gov't frowns on Eric Schmidt's North Korea trip
The timing is not particularly helpful, said a State Department spokeswoman
IDG News Service - The U.S. Department of State has described the timing of a proposed visit by Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt and others to North Korea as not "particularly helpful" in view of the Asian country's recent launch of a long-range rocket.
A South Korean government official confirmed on Thursday a news report that Schmidt was traveling to North Korea on a personal visit. He is expected to be joined by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and his advisor Tony Namkung, according to the reports. Google declined to comment on the personal travel of its executives.
Department of State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a briefing on Thursday that Schmidt and Richardson are private citizens, traveling in an unofficial capacity.
"They are not going to be accompanied by any U.S. officials. They are not carrying any messages from us. Frankly, we don't think the timing of this is particularly helpful, but they are private citizens and they are making their own decisions," she said according to a transcript of the briefing on the department's website.
Even though Google has offices in more than 40 countries, including in North Korea's surrounding neighbors--Russia, South Korea, and China--the prospects for a business deal for Google are remote if only because North Korea is probably the most tightly controlled country in terms of Internet usage, wrote Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington in a posting on the CSIS website. Only about 4,000 North Koreans have access to the web and under very tightly monitored conditions, he said.
If Google is the first small step in piercing the information bubble in Pyongyang, it could be a very interesting development, Cha added.
Nuland said that Google, like all U.S. companies, is subject to restrictions under U.S. law. North Korea does not have diplomatic relations with the U.S. and is subject to U.S. sanctions on a number of fronts. The December launch of the rocket to put a satellite into orbit was criticized as it is seen as giving North Korea long-range missile capability for military purposes.
The Department of State said it was reacting to news reports of Schmidt's visit and did not comment on any official contact with the Google executive. "I'm not going to get into any further details with regard to our contact except to say that they are well aware of the U.S. Government's view on this," Nuland said. It was speculated earlier that the goal of the trip may be to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen the North Korean government recently said it is holding in custody. But Nuland said the U.S. was in contact with North Korea about Bae through the Embassy of Sweden, which is its "protecting power" in Pyongyang.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you like your iPhone, you can keep your iPhone. Period.
President Obama has revealed that he's not permitted to carry an iPhone. It's too insecure for the job, he says. Instead, he's stuck with a BlackBerry. Well, someone's got to have one still. However, it turns out that the Pentagon has also outlawed non-BlackBerry smartphones. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers joke that 2006 called and they want their smartphones back.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry
- This White Paper discusses how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution optimizes project analysis, management, reporting and risk mitigation processes to accelerate new... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- HR and Finance Were made for Each Other View now >>
- The Value of Human Capital for Finance Professionals View now >>
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 12, 2013.