Google shows off to North Korea

North Korean officials took a tour to Google’s Mountain View, California campus, it has emerged.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a gaggle of 12 North Korean economic officers took a look around the HQ for almost two hours. No media were allowed in. Following the tour, they visited Stanford University to see what the geeks were up to. Internet is largely unavailable in North Korea and Google is out of the question.

The idea, according to the South Korean paper, is that US groups offer tours to show North Koreans what they’re missing in the Land of the Fee. It promotes capitalism. 

A Foreign Ministry official told Chosunilbo that US officials set up the trips to show off the “level of US technology and influence”. 

“Though it’s unlikely that North Korea will open up to the outside world immediately,” the official continued, “it could help shift the mindset of the regime over the long term.”

The group also took sponsored jollies from The Asia Foundation to New York, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where they also visited Qualcomm

Although it’s encouraged for low ranking officials to take tours and spread the word from the bottom up, high-ranking North Koreans are banned from visiting – including the Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan and the director-general of the US affairs bureau at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Ri Gun.