Google head Schmidt joins N Korea mission

Business executive part of private "humanitarian mission" 
to communist state led by US politician Bill Richardson.

AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE) excerpt 

During the visit, however, Richardson said the delegation plans to enquire about Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American detained in North Korea. Bae is the fifth American held there in the past four years. The exact circumstances of his arrest were not clear. North Korea has in the past agreed to hand over detainees to high-profile delegations led by the likes of former US president Bill Clinton, and some observers suggested it may have requested Schmidt's participation in this case. Nolan Barkhouse, spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing, said Richardson's trip was unrelated to the authorities in Washington. "They will not be carrying any messages from the US government," Barkhouse told AFP news agency.

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