US officials visit North Korea

The US State Department has criticised the timing of a planned private humanitarian visit to North Korea by an unofficial US delegation this week.

The delegation led by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson includes Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schimdt.

Mr Richardson said Mr Schmidt who is going as a private citizen, is interested in North Korea's economic issues and its use of social media.

There also plans to inquire about Korean-American U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae now under detention there.

For more on Washington's concerns and the significance of this trip, 938LIVE's Mubin Saadat spoke to North Korea expert Dr Michael Raska from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Click here to hear it on podcast