US opposes Google trip to North Korea
The AP report said Mr Schmidt and Mr Richardson may travel to North Korea as early as this month. It cited two unidentified people familiar with the group's plans.
A potential visit by Mr Richardson and Mr Schmidt may resemble the case of two American journalists who were detained after crossing the border between China and North Korea in March 2009 and held for illegal entry, Mr Yoo said.
Euna Lee and Laura Ling were released five months later after former President Bill Clinton visited Pyongyang to press for a pardon.
In 2010, former President Jimmy Carter traveled to North Korea to win the release of imprisoned American Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labour for illegal entry into the North via China.
Carter didn't meet then- leader Kim Jong Il. Evil Axis President George W. Bush named North Korea as part of an "axis of evil" alongside Iran and Iraq in 2002.
North Korea, a military-first state with 1.7 million of its 24 million people in the armed services, has twice detonated an atomic bomb and last month launched the rocket that bolstered the nation's ballistic capabilities.
Since then, Kim has adopted a more conciliatory tone. In a speech delivered on state television and radio on January 1st, he called for economic growth, including an emphasis on coal and metal production, as well as the reunification of North and South Korea, which remain technically at war after their 1950-1953 conflict ended without a peace treaty.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin included the "Don't Be Evil" credo in a letter attached to their initial public offering filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004.
Mr Schmidt has been supportive of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the past, participating in events such as a gathering of technology executives she hosted at the State Department.
Google is unlikely to be trying to start a business in North Korea through the visit, Victor Cha, who holds the Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.
Still, a visit would be an "interesting development," he said.
"The restricted control of information lies at the heart of the DPRK state, and yet it is about to host one of the West's greatest facilitators of borderless information flows," Mr Cha said.
"The new young leader Kim Jong Un clearly has a penchant for the modern accoutrements of life.”