N.Korea trip to be 'private' mission - former U.S. diplomat Richardson

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 4, 2013 6:47pm IST

Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson talks to the media during a news conference in Havana September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa/Files

Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson talks to the media during a news conference in Havana September 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Enrique De La Osa/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson said on Friday he and Google executive Eric Schmidt will make a "private humanitarian visit" to North Korea, partly aimed at securing the release of an American detainee there.

"The objective of the trip is a private humanitarian visit. We're not representing the U.S. government," Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on CBS' "This Morning" show.

His remarks come a day after U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said the timing of the trip was "not particularly helpful," citing North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket in December.

Richardson said he invited Google Inc Executive Chairman Schmidt, who he said was traveling as a private citizen. "This is not a Google trip. He's interested in foreign policy, he's a friend of mine, and I felt it was important that there be a broader perspective of our visit, with Eric going and some other members of our staff."

Richardson, who has made a number of trips to North Korea and negotiated with it on various issues, said, "There's an American detainee in North Korea, Kenneth Bae. I heard from his son who wants to get him released."

Bae, a Korean-American tourist, was detained and accused of unspecified crimes against the state. Richardson has helped negotiate the release of detained Americans in the past.

"We're not representing the U.S. government, we are going to raise the issue of the detainee," Richardson said, adding they were also concerned about "the nuclear proliferation of the North Koreans."

In the wake of North Korea's December 12 rocket launch, the United States, South Korea, Japan and their European allies have pushed to expand long-standing U.N. Security Council sanctions on the country.

Richardson said he understood the State Department was "a little nervous," but he and Schmidt had already postponed the trip from December at its request.

(Reporting by Vicki Allen; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

A VIOLENT WORLD

Hundreds massacred in South Sudan

Hundreds massacred in South Sudan

Rebel troops overrun the city of Bentiu in South Sudan, killing hundreds of civilians. Nathan Frandino reports.  Video 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Divers feel with their hands for corpses in depths of S.Korean ferry.  Full Article 

Australia Determined

Australia Determined

Australia vows to keep searching to solve missing Malayasian plane mystery.  Full Article 

Ukraine Unrest

Ukraine Unrest

Ukraine president calls for new anti-rebel offensive as crisis deal falters.  Full Article 

Reassuring Allies

Reassuring Allies

Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China ahead of visit.  Full Article 

Rising Tensions

Rising Tensions

U.S. vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine.  Full Article 

Stowaway Rests

Stowaway Rests

Teen who stowed away on Hawaii flight resting in hospital.  Full Article 

Thai Crisis

Thai Crisis

Thai court gives PM time to build defence in abuse of power case.  Full Article 

Veolia Apologetic

Veolia Apologetic

Chairman of Veolia unit in China apologises after water pollution.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage