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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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  • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:58PM (#42642803)
    "open up the internet" is something they will listen to. "stop being isolationist" isn't. The best advice, ignored, is just noise.
  • by malloc ( 30902 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @08:04PM (#42642839)
    In that (quite interesting) post the author frequently wonders "WTF were they thinking?". E.g. did they think we would not notice that the screens on all the computers on both floors were identical? My wife is from China where not so long ago everthing was identical, down to the progaganda art on the wall. Her immediate answer when I asked her was "duh, they don't care what the delegates thought, the whole exercise is to show pictures to the local NK population about how the great foreign technical leaders liked the NK technical office". I think we tend to forget that: it isn't the delegates that Pyongyang is afraid of, its their own people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @08:54PM (#42643091)

    it was a PR trip for the North Koreans, who continue to develop Nuclear Weapons at the cost of feeding their people.

    Like America? Ten aircraft carriers and crippling poverty in some parts of the country. Why would any government want their people to suffer?

  • by maugle ( 1369813 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @08:55PM (#42643105)
    I'm pretty sure they didn't mean for them to see the power outage in the subway system, and especially not all the NK citizens automatically pulling out their flashlights (indicating "yeah, this happens all the time").
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @12:01AM (#42644013)

    I'm thinking Eric Schmidt was using North Korea as a way of saying : close the Internet and that's what you'll get. Maybe the real target of his message is the US.

  • by joe545 ( 871599 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:31AM (#42645507)

    I have actually visited North Korea in order to see the Arirang Mass Games. Although Truman Show is a good analogy of what it is like there, I feel a better description is like a human safari. While it is heavily locked down there to an amusing extent (my guide genuinely thought Madonna was man but had heard of her), every now and then you saw a glimpse of something that showed you that it wasn't entirely true.

    When I was leaving the country and passing through passport control, I was lightly grilled by the border guard. He asked me a few questions and then asked me what my job was.
    "Programmer", I replied.
    "Which language do you use?"
    He then leaned forwarded and whispered to me as he gave me my passport back, "Me too".

The absent ones are always at fault.