(The Hosting News) – Often at odds with the rest of the world over nuclear proliferation and human rights, North Korea is among the most isolated places on the globe. But that hasn’t stopped the internet’s largest presence from trying to persuade the country to close the digital divide.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt arrived in the country earlier this week alongside former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to urge the North Koreans to provide more web access to its citizens.
“The citizens of the DPRK (North Korea) will be better off with more cellphones and an active Internet. Those are the … messages we’ve given to a variety of foreign policy officials, scientists” and government officials,” Richardson told the Associated Press, according to a CBSNews.com report.
Part of the visit saw Schmidt receiving a tour of the country’s Korea Computer Center, key to North Korea’s system infrastructure.
Online access in the country is known to be very limited with just one internet service provider partly operated via a government entity.
In addition to pushing for more web availability, the delegation is urging North Korea to put a halt to its Nuclear and weapons program, something condemned by the United Nations. The U.S. visitors are also seeking the release of American Kenneth Bae, currently held by the country for supposedly committing what North Korea views as “hostile acts.”
And despite good intentions, the trip arrives as much chagrin to the U.S. state department which views it as unhelpful following a time in which North Korea coordinated a much criticized rocket launch under Kim Jong Un – the young dictator who previously assumed power following the death of his father in December 2011.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has been a global advocate for more web access. According to CBS, he’s expected to receive a book on global connectivity in April.