Late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's former sushi chef was full of praise about the North under new leader Kim Jong-un after a trip there. "So much has changed," Kenji Fujimoto told the Chosun Ilbo at Japan’s Narita International Airport on Tuesday.
Fujimoto (not his real name) was Kim Jong-il's personal chef from 1989 until 2001 and has published several books about the secretive country. "The people of Pyongyang I ran into in the streets looked cheerful. So much has changed since Kim Jong-un became leader. It is all because of leader Kim Jong-un," he said.
Kim threw a welcome party for Fujimoto, who told reporters during a stopover in Beijing that the new leader has become a "man of stature."
Fujimoto promised to give more details about his visit on TV. One intelligence source in Japan said Fujimoto's trip to North Korea was financed by a private Japanese broadcaster and highlights will be shown in a special TV program. The source added, "It looks like North Korea wants to publicize Kim Jong-un and his leadership in Japan."
Fujimoto apparently has a wife and children in the North and met them during his trip.