State Dept. to Google's Schmidt: Bad timing for N. Korea junket

The U.S. State Department tells Eric Schmidt that the time is not right for the humanitarian mission, Reuters reports.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt Stephen Shankland/CNET

The U.S. government is opposing Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's plans to travel to North Korea, Reuters reported today.

According to the report, the U.S. State Department said the timing is not right for Schmidt's humanitarian mission. The trip, first reported by the Associated Press, was planned as a private trip, led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. It was expected to take place as early as this month.

In a State Department briefing today, spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, "They are 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 cited recent missile launches by North Korea as a reason for the bad timing. Currently, North Korea is subject to U.S. economic sanctions, which would impact any attempt by Google to do business in the country.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Microsoft leaves Apple in the dust with tablet and laptop innovation in 2015

Will there be one Apple Ring to rule them all? That's what a patent application says. Plus, building the thinnest gadget isn't innovation anymore and Apple just got a reality check from Microsoft.

by Brian Tong