Kim Jong-un, the third son and heir of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, showed a strong affection for nuclear weapons since he was a child, according to Kim senior's former personal chef. Kenji Fujimoto quoted Kim Jong-un as saying uranium mines are the North's "sole assets."
Fujimoto was Kim's chef for 13 years until he fled the communist county in 2001 and knew both his second son Jong-chol and Jong-un since they were small. Having recently published the Korean edition of a book entitled "North Korea's Heir, Why Kim Jong-un?," Fujimoto told the Chosun Ilbo in Seoul on Friday that Jong-un briefly returned to North Korea from his studies abroad in the early 2000s and said, "Our industrial technology lags behind. All we have is uranium ore."
Fujimoto said Kim senior showed his preference for his youngest son since the boys were young, saying in front of top officials, "The big one [Jong-chol] has a weak heart and is feminine, but the young one is manly." "To a first-time observer, it looked like Jong-un was the older brother and Jong-chol the younger," Fujimoto said.
Kim Jong-il told Jong-un since he was 15 that a man had to hold his liquor and allowed him to drink, but ordered him not to smoke. Jong-un favored Johnny Walker whisky and secretly smoked Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes with Fujimoto. He had a Mercedes 600 sedan and was fond of South Korean pop music and the Super Mario Brothers and Tetris computer games.
Fujimoto recalled Jong-un once told him, "I roller blade, play basketball and go jet skiing in the summer, but I wonder how other people live." he visited Tokyo Disney Land with his mother Ko Young-hui.
Jong-un seemed less interested in girls than Jong-chol but became wide-eyed with fascination whenever he saw female North Korean dance troupes perform, according to the ex-chef. "Just like Kim Jong-il, Jong-un will probably choose a bride according to his preference rather than according to his father's instructions," he said.
Asked about the heir's podgy shape, Fujimoto speculated that Kim Jong-il made Jong-un gain weight to give him more of a leader's gravity."
Kim Jong-il classified his female dance troupes into four categories according to their height (155 cm, 160 cm, 165 cm and 170 cm) and had them compete against each other. Once, he ordered dancers to perform naked and told senior officials to dance with them. Fujimoto said Kim was apparently trying to recreate the strip shows of the West.
Kim senior survived an assassination attempt in the late 1980s, when one of his bodyguards, drunk, aimed his gun at the leader's head during an evening stroll at a villa in Hamhung Province, according to Fujimoto. But the man was overpowered by other security personnel and executed on the spot.