Photo: Former Gov Bill Richardson in North Korea
Bill Richardson, former New Mexico Governor and the first Latino candidate for President, arrived in North Korea on a ‘private humanitarian mission’ along with Google executive Eric Schmidt.
In spite of the U.S. State Department labeling the trip “unhelpful” according to the New York Times, Richardson is leading a private group of individuals on a venture described by him as a humanitarian mission. Currently, the U.S. does not maintain any diplomatic relationship with the country that is largely isolated internationally.
Richardson served as New Mexico Governor from 2003 to 2011 and since then has been an ambassador-at-large of sorts for issues of his own choosing. In 2011 he traveled to Cuba to fight for the release of American prisoner Alan Gross. On this trip he is hoping to secure the release of American citizen Kenneth Bae who is under arrest for “hostile acts” since November of last year.
Google, Inc. has not disclosed why its Executive Chairman is there and what it hopes to accomplish in a country that does not allow Internet access for its citizens.