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Google on Schmidt's N. Korea trip: This is Eric's private excursion

While the world waits for Google's chairman to explain his trip to Pyongyang, the company says it's strictly an observer.

Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt.
Getty Images

North Korea's Central News Agency said earlier today that Eric Schmidt is traveling to the country as part of a "Google delegation." That's news to Google.

"This is a personal trip," said a company spokeswoman, making it clear that Google is as much a spectator as the rest of us.

Schmidt, who is Google's executive chairman, arrived in Pyongyang today with fellow Googler Jared Cohen, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. The U.S. State Department had previously expressed disapproval of the trip. Google did not have much to share about Schmidt's motivations, other than to say that he was a guest of Gov. Richardson.

Given the absence of Internet infrastructure in North Korea, it was little surprise to learn that Schmidt was not reachable by e-mail.