This June makes the 55th year since the Korean War. June 6th was the National Memorial Day. The number of the military, the UN blue helmets, and civilian casualties reach up to millions. 55 years passed since the Korean War but peace is yet to settle down on the Korean peninsula. The 23 million people in North Korea are still living under the Suryeong dictatorship.
North Korea is about to face the second food crisis (also called “March of Tribulation”). It is truly worrisome how the Northern brethren will live through this year. Even the people may have to survive on boiled weeds; Kim Jong Il is continuously delaying agricultural reform. While the people are starving to death, the Dear Leader’s table is nothing less than “Luxurious.”
DailyNK analyzed Kim Jong Il’s table. Unless a major reform is done with Kim Jong Il’s table the sufferings of the North Korean people will not stop.
DailyNK selected 30 different foods of which Kim Jong Il often enjoys. The list of dishes were selected according to “Kim Jong Il’s Cook,” by Fujimoto Kenji who used to be Kim Jong Il’s cook, “Eastern Special Train” by Konstantin Pulikovsky and testimonies of the North Korean defectors who served Kim Jong Il.
The cooking department of the Shilla Hotel – Seoul provided description and price of each dish.
Even During the Mass Starvation Ambassadors Busy Looking for Rare Foods
Fujimoto Kenji who worked as Kim Jong Il’s personal cook escaped North Korea 2001 and after the publication of his book, “Kim Jong Il’s Cook,” (Japanese edition) it was revealed for the first time the kind of food Kim Jong Il enjoys on his everyday.
Fujimoto said Commissioner Kim enjoys shark fin dish.
Shark fin transformed into many dishes to make it up to Kim Jong Il’s table, such as Coconut Shark Fin Stew, Bamboo Shark Fin Stew, and Shark Fin Conch Stew. In the menu of Kim Jong Il for Mar 21-26, 2001 of which Mr. Kenji presented the Shark Fin Stew appeared four times, which shows how much Kim Jong Il enjoys this dish.
According to the North Korean defectors, Commissioner Kim enjoys seafood but also likes meat. Although he usually asks for seafood, he also likes “Koya” (shoat barbeque) and “Salo” (Salted and aged pig fat).
He does not eat much but enjoys picking at various kids of food as if just to taste.
Commissioner Kim used to hold parties often until the late 1990s and drank often. At the time his favorite liquors are known to be “Johnny Walker Swing” and “Hennessy XO.”
What is most shocking out of Fujimoto’s testimony is the fact that in 1996 when the millions were starving to death, Kim Jong Il’s cooks traveled around the world to look for novelty food. They brought port from Denmark, caviar from Iran, fish from Japan, and fruits from South Asia such as durian and papaya.
Pulikovsky, Foods for Kim Jong Il Delivered by Plane
When Kim Jong Il visited Russia by train, ambassador Pulikovsky, Russia's President's Plenipotentiary in the
Far Eastern Federal District, followed Kim Jong Il like his shadow and presented his experience of traveling with Kim Jong Il in his book, “Eastern Special Train.” The book mainly consists of his conversations with Kim Jong Il for 24 hours about the food and dishes.
Here too, the shark fin is not excluded. Pulikovsky said the food Kim Jong Il eats are all delivered from North Korea and he saw that even the wastes from Kim’s food are closed in bags and sent back to North Korea.
In his book, Pulikovsky writes that Commissioner Kim said to the writer that he likes Salo and often drink strong coffee.
One of the defectors who has experience of living close to Kim Jong Il testified that “I heard that Kim Jong Il enjoys eating Morning Soup made with mud snails. I think this is because he often drinks (alcoholic beverages).”
French Cook, “Ingredients Arrived from All Around the World as soon as they were ordered”
In the same year, a cook from France also shared his experience of cooking for one of Kim Jong Il’s parties. He remembered that French cheese and wine of over twenty kinds and necessary ingredients for cooking arrived from all over the world as soon as he ordered them.
Chef Choi In Su of the Cooking Department of the Shilla Holtel – Seoul said in the phone interview with The DailiyNK, “Since the ingredients of Kim Jong Il’s dishes must be the best out of the best so it is difficult to predict prices. From the list, caviar (shark eggs) looks most expensive, over $2000.”
In the UN 2002 report, thousands of North Korean children are suffering from malnutrition and 40% of them are under the condition of chronic malnutrition. In 1996, the rate reached up to 60%.
The government of North Korea is once again struggling for food this year. In the January 1 New Years’s Collective Column, it urged for increase of food production by setting “The main sector of the Socialist Economic Construction is agriculture sector.” In the North Korea supporting NGO meeting held in Beijing on May 28 where both domestic and international NGOs attended, it has been reported, “North Korea is on 5 million tons of food on short everyday and for this year North Korea lacks 2 million tons of food.”
However, the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il is still enjoying luxurious food and holding parties with his entourages shouting “Won Moar” (“One more,” is what Kim says when he orders to make more sushi, Kim Jong Il’s Cook, p.55).