Beijing - Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is urging North Korea to shed its self-imposed isolation and allow its citizens to use the Internet or risk being left behind economically.

He spoke to reporters in Beijing on Thursday after visiting the tightly controlled country this week.

Schmidt joined former New Mexico Governor Bill Richards in the delegation that also called on North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests that have prompted UN sanctions and sought fair treatment for a detained American citizen.

Schmidt says the North Korean government must act now in boosting it citizens' access to the Internet. He says, “It's their choice now. It's in my view time for them to start or else they will remain behind.” - Sapa-AP