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U.S. Frowns On Google Exec Eric Schmidt's North Korea Visit

The timing of the executive chairman of Google's trip is "not particularly helpful," says the State Department.

Here's the State Department's take on Eric Schmidt's private visit to North Korea, alongside Bill Richardson. "Frankly, we don't think the timing of this is particularly helpful, but they are private citizens and they are making their own decisions," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Although there is little official conversation between the two countries, there was some entertaining Twitter backchat between a U.S. official and the rogue state's first Twitter account back in 2010.

The irony of the executive chairman of Google and a proponent of the free Internet taking in the sights of Pyongyang, home of a regime which keeps a tight rein on its citizens' web use, cannot be lost on many people.

[Image by Flickr user Joseph A Ferris III]