Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has confirmed that he will be traveling to North Korea with Google chairman Eric Schmidt next week. The trip is said to be a "humanitarian mission" and will also include Google Ideas director Jared Cohen and Richardson's advisor Dr. KA Namkung.

Reports of Schmidt's trip surfaced last week, and the US State Department expressed its concerns soon after, citing political sensitivities relating to North Korea's recent satellite launch. It's not clear what exactly Schmidt and Richardson will be doing during their time in the country, but media won't be permitted on the trip; Richardson will instead offer a briefing at Beijing Airport on January 10th.