Kim Jong-un 'Brought Personal Food Tasters to Hanoi Summit'

  • By Lee Kil-seong

    March 28, 2019 13:04

    Like a Roman emperor, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un brought personal food tasters with him to his summit in Hanoi with U.S. President Donald Trump for fear of being poisoned.

    As the two leaders dined on caviar and foie gras in the Vietnamese capital last month, every dish was first tasted by the North Korean staff for their supreme leader.

    Paul Smart, the head chef at the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi where the two leaders met, told the China Newsweek last week that both leaders brought their own kitchen staff with them, and the North Koreans supplied their own ingredients including wagyu beef, foie gras and kimchi.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) talks with U.S. President Donald Trump at a dinner table at the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi, Vietnam on Feb. 27. /AFP-Yonhap

    He described the North Koreans as "mysterious but very professional" and said they would taste each dish an hour before it was served to make sure it was safe. The North Korean leader also enjoys caviar and lobster, according to Smart.

    For a planned luncheon on Feb. 28, the second day of the summit, a meal of foie gras and toothfish was prepared, but the meal was abruptly canceled when the summit collapsed.

    In an earlier interview with AFP, Smart said Trump prefers his steak well done, while Kim liked it rare.

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