Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese chef who personally worked for Kim Jong-Il, the former North Korean leader, made a two-week visit to Pyongyang for the first time in 11 years. He went in order to meet the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, along with his wife Ri Sol-Ju, who has been making headlines recently after making many public appearances with her husband. After having lived and worked in the isolated country throughout the 1980s and 90s, serving as a personal chef to the senior Kim, Fujimoto, a pseudonym, says the new leader was very kind and happy to seem after so many years.
Fujimoto spoke to reporters in Beijing on his return trip to Japan, offering up few details other than Kim Jong-Un’s wife was very pretty and charming, and that the new North Korean leader greatly appreciated the tune that the chef had flown in as a gift. After publishing a memoir in 2003 that detailed his experiences with the ruling family, Fujimoto always wears dark sunglasses along with variety of head coverings when he goes out in public, and he often moves the location of his home, as he still fears for his life to this day.
In the memoir, Fujimoto says that he got to know the younger Kim while cooking for his father, and often noted how much he resembled his father. He called Kim Jong-Un the “Prince,” as it clear that he was his father’s favorite son. Reporters asked Fujimoto whether he had discussed any of the leader’s military ambitions, or if the kidnapping of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang in the past were addressed, however he only responded that he had not visited North Korea for government work.