Across the snowy capital, new propaganda signs and slogans reiterate those goals, exhorting the people to "break through the cutting edge" and "push back the frontiers" of science and technology in the spirit of the Dec. 12 space launch.
The number of cell phone users has surpassed 1.5 million in a few short years, with help from the Egyptian telecommunications giant Orascom, which provides a 3G cell phone service.
However, offering open Internet access has not been part of the strategy. Experts see North Korea as one of the least connected countries in the world.
Though global broadband Internet is available in North Korea, few have permission to log onto the World Wide Web. Those with computers and Internet access typically are restricted to a domestic Intranet site that filters the information and publications available to North Koreans.
On Tuesday, Schmidt, Richardson and their delegation chatted with students at Pyongyang's elite Kim Il Sung University who have permission to access the global Internet for research purposes.
On Wednesday, the group toured the main library in Pyongyang, the Grand People's Study House, where locals still in their winter coats were crowded into drafty, unheated halls at computers with Intranet access to the library's archive of books, documents and newspapers.
Later, the delegation visited the multi-story Korea Computer Center, the hub of North Korea's software and computer product development, where a quote from Kim Jong Il reads: "Now is the era for science and technology. It is the era of computers."
Inside an atrium exhibition hall lined with widescreen displays showing off North Korea's computer products, the Google group fiddled around with the new Samjiyon tablet computer utilizing foreign-made hardware and North Korean software and linked to the Internet through a wifi router.
They learned about North Korea's data encryption software, face recognition devices, video chat room software and instant messaging services.
So far, the computer center has teamed up with nations including China, Russia and India to develop products - but is hoping to reach out to establish partnerships with other countries also, officials told Schmidt and Richardson.
Schmidt, who as chief executive of Google until 2011 oversaw the Internet search provider's expansion into a global Internet giant, speaks frequently about the importance of providing people around the world with Internet access and technology.
Google now has offices in more than 40 countries, including Russia, South Korea and China, another country criticized for systematic Internet censorship.
There are no major U.S. firms operating in North Korea, which fought against the United States in the Korean War of the 1950s. The foes signed a truce in 1953 to end the fighting, but never a peace treaty, and the two countries still do not have diplomatic relations.
U.N. sanctions ban the trade with North Korea of weapons and items that could be used for nuclear purposes, as well as luxury items. The U.S. also prohibits the import of North Korean-made goods into the United States.
Some conservatives in the United States have had harsh criticism of the Schmidt-Richardson trip.
Schmidt and Richardson "have joined the long list of Americans and others used by the Kim family dictatorship for political advantage," John Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, wrote in the New York Daily News.
"North Korea has repeatedly welcomed prominent Americans to help elevate its stature. It is seeking direct negotiations with Washington, for in the distorted vision of the nation's leadership, this might lead to full diplomatic recognition and 'equal' status in the world community."