Fujimoto Kenji has given his first major TV interview since returning from meeting Kim Jong Eun in Pyongyang for the first time in 13 years. Speaking to Japanese broadcaster TBS, he also revealed eight pictures featuring himself, Kim and Kim’s wife Ri Sol Joo at a banquet during the visit, which took place last month.
The visit was facilitated, Fujimoto said in the piece, by a Zainichi-Korean he had known in North Korea. The individual approached him in June, saying that his North Korean wife, children and Kim Jong Eun all desired to meet him.
“When I was waiting in the banquet hall there I did feel in danger,” Fujimoto admitted, “but as soon as Kim Jong Eun called me ‘Mr. Fujimoto’ I felt safe. It was the first time he had addressed me that way.”
According to the former sushi chef, he greeted Kim with the words “The traitor has returned”, to which Kim responded with the words “Never mind, never mind, all is forgotten. I cannot forget that we rode jet-skies, rollerbladed and played basketball together.” Kim also declared his desire to see North Korea and Japan improve their bilateral relations.
Ri Sol Joo apparently commented to Fujimoto, “Thank you for coming to our country. I’m really grateful; the supreme commander has said many things about you.” The others at the banquet were Jang Sung Taek and Kim Jong Eun’s blood sister Kim Yeo Jong.
Kim Jong Il’s former chef is expected to reveal more about his trip today and tomorrow on the same channel.