You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Google leader chides North Korea

BEIJING — Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, returned from a four-day visit to North Korea on Thursday with a message for the reclusive nation’s young new leader: Embrace the Web or else.

Schmidt, part of a private delegation led by former governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico that also sought to press North Korea on humanitarian and diplomatic issues, said the country risks falling further behind if it does not provide more access to cell service and the Internet.

Continue reading below

“As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world, their economic growth and so forth, and it will make it harder for them to catch up economically,” he told reporters at Beijing International Airport. “We made that alternative very, very clear.”

Their visit, the highest-profile delegation of Americans since Kim Jong Un took power upon the death of his father in December 2011, comes at a precarious time for US-North Korean relations after the North’s rocket launch last month drew condemnation.

The State Department was not thrilled with Richardson’s freelance diplomacy, at least not publicly.

A spokeswoman described Richardson’s visit as not “particularly helpful” given that the United States is seeking to rally support for tougher international sanctions against the North.

Some specialists on North Korea have characterized the self-described humanitarian mission as naive, saying it will ultimately serve the North’s propaganda needs.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.