ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Former governor Bill Richardson has gone ahead with a trip that the white house did not want him to take.
He arrived today in North Korea on what he calls a humanitarian mission but which may have another purpose as well.
The trip comes just a few weeks after North Korea defied the U.S. and the U.N. by launching a satellite on a long range rocket that could be used for military purposes.
The state department says the visit is badly timed but adds the department would be willing to hear from Richardson and others with him when they get back.
Richardson insists his main mission is to find out about an American citizen being held by the North Koreans.
"We are here as individual American citizens looking into the humanitarian issues," Richardson said. "We are going to ask about the American detainee who is here. We are interested in economic and political situation."
Google boss Eric Schmidt, a staunch advocate of global internet access, is with Richardson
That's led to speculation new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might be open to easing some restrictions on the notoriously closed society.
Albuquerque may have the biggest paint-by-number drawing in the New Mexico, and soon, a neighborhood will pitch in to finish it.
A vehicle used in war will soon hit the streets in Farmington.
New Mexico State Police say a missing hunter was found dead Sunday morning.
A wave of support was expressed Sunday from big group of Taos residents who protested the firing of state police officer Elias Montoya.
The name of the man killed in a deadly winter weather-related crash has been released.
Mugshots from local New Mexico authorities from December 2013.