Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, was at the Chinese University of Hong Kong earlier today to launch a local entrepreneurship program with the institute. As a man who believes in free and open internet to aid startups and innovation, the exec was happy to give an update on North Korea and Myanmar since his visit there to promote better web access. For the former, Schmidt joked that no one called him back since the phones there still don’t work for local folks.
“North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. 23 million people, a million phones, they talk within the country but not out,” Schmidt said. “You cannot get information in and out of the country, it’s a terrible disservice to the citizens of the country.”
The exec continued that he can’t tell if his visit had any impact at all: soon after he attempted to convince Kim Jong-un’s government “to open up to a little bit of the internet,” its recent territorial dispute with South Korea held back progress.
“I think history will see if it gets better or not,” Schmidt said.