Democratic former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson gave an interview to CBS This Morning on Friday affirming and defending an upcoming trip to the totalitarian nation of North Korea, which he plans to visit soon with his friend, Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, possibly before the end of the month, per an Associated Press report that leaked the news on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department on Thursday expressed public reservations about the trip, calling it "unhelpful," to ongoing U.S. diplomatic efforts, but Richardson told CBS that although he acknowledged the concerns, he planned to go ahead and that the trip wasn't being made in any official capacity from the U.S. government, nor Google. AS CBS News reported:
"I know the State Department is a little nervous," Richardson said, "but we did postpone this trip already. Eric and I were going in December, and at the request of the State Department, we postponed it because of the South Korean presidential election."
"We're not representing the State Department, so they shouldn't be that nervous," he added.
Richardson said that during the trip, he will work to secure the release of Korean-American Kenneth Bae, arrested by North Korea on unspecified charges announced last month. Richardson also said he was concerned about nuclear proliferation and would bring that topic up as well. Watch video interview of Richardson's full interview with CBS This Morning below: