GQ magazine sent Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Adam Johnson to interview Japanese sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto, who for eleven years was Kim Jong-il’s personal chef, court jester, and sidekick in North Korea.
Fujimoto had seen the palaces, ridden the white stallions, smoked the Cuban cigars, and watched as, one by one, the people around him disappeared. It was part of Fujimoto’s job to fly North Korean jets around the world to procure dinner-party ingredients—to Iran for caviar, Tokyo for fish, or Denmark for beer. It was Fujimoto who flew to France to supply the Dear Leader’s yearly $700,000 cognac habit. And when the Dear Leader craved McDonald’s, it was Fujimoto who was dispatched to Beijing for an order of Big Macs to go.
When he finally left North Korea, Fujimoto became, according to a high-level cable released by WikiLeaks, the Japanese intelligence community’s single greatest asset on the Kim family, rulers of a nation about which stubbornly little is known.
Among other things, Kenji Fujimoto reveals present leader, Kim Jong-un’s, birth date. (January 8, 1983.)