Friday, January 25, 2013

Google's Chairman visits North Korea (3)

I am in Honolulu following the PTC13 annual conference of the Pacific Telecommunications Council. Several of the presentations I attended touched on North Korea, in one way or another, which prompts me to comment again on the recent visit to that nation of Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt. (see an earlier post here)  The New Yorker has published an interesting interview with John Delury, a Yonsei University professor who was part of the Schmidt delegation.   He has visited North Korea frequently in recent years and had the following to say in his interview with The New Yorker. "Kim Jong-un is putting a major stress on economic development and on building a “knowledge-based economy.” North Koreans I speak with understand the relationship between connectivity and growth. They also realize that the rest of the global economy is wired, and that if they want a piece of the action they have to get online, too. So they are now in a preliminary phase of experimenting with increased connectivity among their own people. Huge obstacles stand in the way. But Google folks went there to make the case for the virtues of the Internet, and North Koreans listened. That’s all we can say at this point."
Read the full interview at this link.

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