Some may call it "hopelessly naïve" but no one can say that Google Chariman Eric Schmidt's four day trip to North Korea, where he was photographed walking through the streets surrounded by North Korean people, did not have an impact on the mindsets of people ordinarily closed off to the outside world. For more than half a century, North Korea has maintained its tightly state-controlled system and built up its nuclear weapons program, keeping foreign invaders at bay, while millions of its citizens are at the same time dying from food shortages. The United States government has, understandably, hesitated to act; however, it is about time we let somebody else try to negotiate with the Kim dynasty.
Even though it is gutsy of Schmidt to dabble in diplomacy with North Korea, I have to applaud him for giving it a shot. Last week, BBC News reported that Schmidt and a delegation that includes former New Mexico governor and US envoy to the United Nations Bill Richardson visited North Korea in order to urge the country to take down some of its restrictions and to allow its citizens to use the internet. It also pushed for North Korea to end its nuclear weapons and missile tests and discussed the case of the Korean-American detainee, Kenneth Bae, who has been held in the country on arrest since November.