Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is set to visit North Korea on a private, humanitarian mission led by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
North Korea is considered to be the country with the most restrictive Internet policies in the world. Schmidt's trip will be the first by a top executive from US based Google to one of the last frontiers of cyberspace.
"Perhaps the most intriguing part of this trip is simply the idea of it," said Victor Cha, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, adding that it is highly unlikely Google would push to launch a business venture in North Korea.
According to Lim Eul-chul, a North Korea expert at Kyungnam University in South Korea, the East Asian country is most likely interested in Google products such as e-mail, maps and other content, rather than open access to the Internet.
"North Korea has made a lot of investment in science and technology, not just for military purpose but also for the industry and practical reasons," said Lim, predicting that Pyongyang may be interested in its experts learning from Google about upgrading its software and content.
Google has currently offices in more than 40 countries, including North Korea's neighbors, Russia, South Korea and China.
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