Bill Richardson and Eric Schmidt visit North Korea; Sen. John McCain calls them ‘useful idiots’
A delegation that includes former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson Google chairman Eric Schmidt is visiting North Korea today. Richardson described the trip as a private humanitarian mission. The government of North Korea has confirmed the trip.
Further details via the New York Times:
Mr. Richardson said his delegation planned to meet with North Korean political, economic and military leaders and visit universities.
Mr. Schmidt and Google have kept quiet about why Mr. Schmidt joined the trip, which the State Department called unhelpful. Mr. Richardson said Monday that Mr. Schmidt was “interested in some of the economic issues there, the social media aspect,” but did not elaborate. Mr. Schmidt is a staunch proponent of Internet connectivity and openness.
Russain revolutionary Vladimir Lenin reportedly considered Communist sympathizers in the West “useful idiots.” Today the term is used to describe naive people who are “perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”