State-run North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun published an article Friday that said the United States was trying to start a war on the Korean Peninsula. Titled “The fight for Asian and global peace,” the article says the United States’ so-called pivot to Asia is a threat to regional stability.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has questioned the timing of a planned North Korea visit by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and former ambassador Bill Richardson.
In her media briefing, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said the two will be making the trip as private citizens. “They are traveling in an unofficial capacity,” Nuland said. “They are not going to be accompanied by any U.S. officials. They are not carrying any messages from us. Frankly, we don’t think the timing of this is particularly helpful, but they are private citizens and they are making their own decisions.”
When asked if the trip might be tied to winning the release of a U.S. national being held in North Korea, Nuland said: “Again, they are not going on our behalf. No American official is going with them. They are not carrying any messages from us.”