Google executive chairman Schmidt going to NKorea

GILLIAN WONG Associated Press Published:

BEIJING (AP) -- Google's executive chairman is heading to North Korea.

Eric Schmidt of Google is in Beijing and is scheduled to leave Monday on a commercial flight bound for a country considered to have the world's most restrictive Internet policies. He is part of a delegation led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

It is the first trip by an executive from the California-based Internet search provider to North Korea.

Richardson told The Associated Press that Schmidt is going as a private citizen and is interested in North Korea's economic issues and its use of social media. He did not elaborate.

Richardson says the delegation also plans to inquire about a Korean-American U.S. citizen detained there. Richardson says he hopes to lay the groundwork for the detainee to return home.