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Schmidt, Daughter Talk About North Korea Trip 187

Eric Schmidt attracted headlines when he visited North Korea, but until now he has said little about the trip. Today he broke his silence with a Google+ post. He says in part: "As the world becomes increasingly connected, the North Korean decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world and their economic growth. It will make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very, very clear. Once the internet starts in any country, citizens in that country can certainly build on top of it, but the government has to do one thing: open up the Internet first. They have to make it possible for people to use the Internet, which the government of North Korea has not yet done. It is their choice now, and in my view, it’s time for them to start, or they will remain behind." His daughter had some interesting things to say as well, "The best description we could come up with: it's like The Truman Show, at country scale."
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Schmidt, Daughter Talk About North Korea Trip

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  • by k-run ( 74865 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:51PM (#42642767)

    Farmers in India can get weather and crop pricing information via SMS on their basic 'feature' phones. It is progress, even if it seems painfully slow to those of us who live in the west.

  • by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @08:19PM (#42642917)

    Couldn't Schmidt's trip be construed as a violation of the Logan Act []?

    I don't see how. He didn't engage in any sort of negotiation with the DPRK administration. Of course everyone he was in contact with while in-country was effectively a representative of the regime, but he didn't represent himself as an agent of the United States and attempt to engage in diplomatic negotiation. He just visited, smiled, and nodded.

  • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:05PM (#42643163)

    The illusion will be shattered for the citizens of NK, they will begin to demand more from their government and openess will come.

    Actually, they will begin to demand less from their government. Like less defense from an imaginary pending attack from South Korea. Less in the way of starvation labor camps. Less in the way of grotesque mass-parade theater showing love for their various iterations of Great Leader, Dear Leader, etc.

    What they'll want more of is a chance for people outside of that hellish place to be able to invest money, material, and people into growing some actual businesses. Or they will want that, as soon as they realize that's what generates actual prosperity.

  • I moved away from the US nearly 12 years ago.

    I did not have to swim a river or crawl through barbed wire or a minefield under cover of darkness to do so.

    In fact, before I left, the US government even supplied me at my request and for very low cost with an internationally-accepted document confirming my citizenship (so I could come back if I wanted) and asking people in other countries to treat me nicely (and telling me where to get help if they don't).

    I don't see that happening so often in North Korea, do you?

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.