Like the average North Korean, I’d never heard of Sophie Schmidt‘s father either but it seems he’s a man of significance.
Anyway, his daughter went to North Korea as part of a delegation and from what I can gather, unlike the Ted Kennedies and the like whom Yuri Bezmenov called useful idiots in the way they were sucked in and went back to the US to spread the word, our Sophe told it as it was:
About the best that can be said, and it is not a happy message, is that when Bill Clinton went to Pyongyang in 2009 — upon the insistence of the Kim regime — North Korea did allow him to bring home two American employees of Al Gore’s Current TV channel (that was before Gore sold out to Al Jazeera) who had been imprisoned and were facing horrific sentences for the blunder of trespassing from China into North Korea. Clinton’s visit, which included posing for a photo-op dignifying the late Kim Jong Il with the company of a favor-seeking former leader of the Free World, was effectively the payment of a ransom demanded by North Korea.
In sum, the visit of yet another high-profile delegation to Pyongyang — whether official or not — did not bode well. If either Richardson or Google’s Eric Schmidt achieved some marvelous breakthrough with this journey, we have yet to hear about it. But this latest Richardson expedition did produce one surprise. — the best thing ever to emerge from a celebrity trip to North Korea.
Google’s Schmidt brought with him his teenage daughter, Sophie. She turns out to be a worldly young woman with a flair for photography, keen observation, and wry humor. She has now posted a travelogue, sophieinnorthkorea, which with photos and commentary, under the caption “It might not get weirder than this,” conveys the kind of gritty reality that most big name delegations don’t tell you about.