North Korean delegation visits Silicon Valley

A visitor to the Grand People's Study House uses a computer in this file photo from 2002 (Photo: North Korea Tech)

A delegation of North Korean officials toured Silicon Valley in California, according to several news reports. The group of 12 government employees had been in the U.S. on a 2-week trip organized by the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at University of California, San Diego.

They spent about 100 minutes inside Google from 10am on April 1. The visit was arranged with “tight security” and journalists were restricted from interacting with the North Koreans, according to a Yonhap News report.

Afterwards, they visited Stanford University for a lunch seminar. It was about industry-university cooperation and was attended by “U.S. experts on North Korea, such as nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker and former Defense Secretary William Perry,” Yonhap reported quoting an anonymous participant. The Chosun Ilbo said staffers from other Silicon Valley IT companies were also in attendance.

The Silicon Valley visit comes as North Korea is building up its own Internet expertise. The country is expanding a domestic computer network that links public establishments and beginning of offer more official information on the web, but free access to the global computer network remains out of reach of ordinary citizens.

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