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Former New Mexico Governor and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson said his planned trip to North Korea with Google executive Eric Schmidt is a humanitarian visit in an interview with co-host Norah O'Donnell and CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY co-host Anthony Mason that was broadcast live today Jan. 4, 2013, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM). View the interview in full below!
Below are excerpts from the interview:
O'DONNELL: So the State Department has made clear they don't want you go. Why are you going?
RICHARDSON: Well, it's a private humanitarian visit. There's an American detainee in North Korea, Kenneth Bae. I heard from his son who wants to get him released. I've been dealing with North Korea for 15 years. I've brought back American servicemen, I've brought back American hostages, I've negotiated for The Remains of our soldiers from the Korean War, food aid. I know the North Koreans. The objective of the trip is a private humanitarian visit. We're not representing the U.S. government. I know the State Department's a little nervous, 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 elections, but this time we felt it was important to go. Again, it's a private mission. We're not representing the State Department, so they shouldn't be that nervous.
O'DONNELL: So why is Google executive Eric Schmidt going?
RICHARDSON: I invited Eric. He is going as a private citizen. This is not a Google trip. He's interested in foreign policy. He's a friend of mine. And I felt that it was important that there be a broader perspective of our visit with Eric going and some other members of our staff. But, again, we're not representing the U.S. government. We are going to raise the issue of the detainee. We are concerned about the nuclear proliferation of the North Koreans. But I've been dealing with them successfully for 15 years-