Richardson: NKorea trip is private, humanitarian

January 4, 2013 - 9:32 AM
North Korea Kim Jong Un

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2012 file image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from left in front row, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, left, attend a ceremony to reopen the mausoleum where his father's embalmed remains will lie in state, as they mark the first year of his death in Pyongyang, North Korea. The seemingly pregnant belly sported by the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in mid-December appeared to be gone by New Year's Day. That's sent South Korean media into a frenzy of speculation that there's a new baby in the ruling Kim dynasty. (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video, File) NORTH KOREA OUT, TV OUT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says the State Department should not be nervous about a visit he's making to North Korea with Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt.

The State Department has advised against his making the trip. But Richardson says he doesn't work for the U.S. government.

Richardson said Friday he's concerned about an American citizen detained in North Korea, Kenneth Bae, and has spoken to Bae's son. The former U.N. ambassador and U.S. energy secretary points out he has helped negotiate the release of American service members and hostages in the past. Richardson says he's also concerned about what the U.S. believes is covert nuclear testing.

Richardson tells CBS "This Morning" it's a private, humanitarian mission and says the State Department shouldn't be so worried.