Google chairman Eric Schmidt (formerly the Internet giant’s CEO) and Democratic former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday aboard an Air China flight, the Associated Press reports. Schmidt is anticipated to make some sort of donation during the trip while Richardson will reportedly work to negotiate the release of Kenneth Bae, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, according to the New York Times.
Richardson said the trip is a “private humanitarian mission,” and not being conducted under official sanction of either Google nor the U.S. government. In fact, a State Department spokesperson days prior called the timing of the trip “unhelpful,” coming just days after North Korea launched a satellite into space aboard a long-range rocket that Washington condemned as a test of missile technology. It’s unclear just how long the two men and their delegation will remain in North Korea.