WSJ: Schmidt Is Giving North Korea What For

By Jamie Condliffe on at

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Eric Schmidt isn't being backward at coming forward during his trip to North Korea. In fact, he's been challenging officials over global Internet access, nuclear-development, and US detainees.

The Journal reports that Schmidt was keen to point out the economic disadvantages that a censored internet brings:

"As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their view of the world," he told reporters in Beijing Thursday, as he returned from a three-day trip to North Korea with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. He added that it would "make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very, very clear."

He didn't stop there, though, telling North Korea's top vice minister for nuclear negotiations that it should "temper" its nuclear development, as well as disagreeing when officials claimed that the country's recent satellite launch was for peaceful reasons. He also pushed for information about an American who is currently being detained in North Korea.

So, despite the fact that US officials didn't like the sound of Schmidt's visit, it seems he's trying to shake things up a little — and certainly isn't being the yes-man he could've been. Have a safe journey home, Eric! [WSJ]