PYONGYANG, January 8 (Itar-Tass) — Google chairman Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who arrived in North Korea on Monday, had a meeting on Tuesday at the North Korean Foreign Ministry and visited Kim Il Sung University and the Academy of Social Sciences.
Richardson said a meeting with North Korean diplomats had been frank and productive. On Wednesday the delegation will visit the Pyongyang Folk Park. It is expected that on January 10, Richardson and Schmidt will leave for Beijing, where they will possibly give a news conference for foreign reporters on their trip to North Korea.
In Pyongyang the American guests were accommodated at a residence designed for high-ranking foreign guests. Prior to the trip, Richardson said he wanted to meet with political and economic leaders as well as with military of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
During the trip the delegation also plans to inquire about a Korean-American US citizen, Pae Jun Ho, who was detained on November 3 in the city of Rason, “where he arrived with criminal goals,” as the Korean Central News Agency reported. KCNA said that during the investigation he had “admitted his guilt”. A staffer from the Swedish Embassy that represents the interests of the United States in the DPRK was allowed to meet with him. Pyongyang and Washington have no diplomatic relations.
Schmidt and Richardson arrived in Pyongyang despite objections of the American authorities who consider this visit untimely because of North Korea’s launch of a rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite on December 12. Washington says this was made in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
In the administration of Bill Clinton, Richardson occupied the posts of Energy Secretary and Permanent US Representative to the United Nations. In the past he repeatedly paid unofficial visits to North Korea.