A blog by Grant Montgomery, co-founder of Family Care Foundation, a 501c3 that provides emergency services and sustained development for families on 5 continents. This site highlights the plight of 300,000 North Koreans who have fled their country due to the brutal oppression of a Stalinist North Korean regime, as well as those still living in North Korea.
So the theory is that Kim Jong-un might reform North Korea on the lines of China’s system of Market Socialism.
“When I go to Europe or Japan, I see overflowing products and food, but when I return to [North Korea], there is nothing,” Fujimoto quoted Kim Jong-un as saying. “Do we need to study China’s policies?”
Analysts have said that Fujimoto’s meeting is another sign that the younger Kim wants to distance himself from the regime of his father and grandfather Kim Il-sung, who founded the Stalinist state.
“Judging by what Kim Jong-un has done in the last month or so he is not merely distancing himself from his father’s regime, but is doing so with remarkable boldness and speed,” Andrei Lankov, who studied in Pyongyang and now teaches at South Korea’s Kookmin University, said.
The late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s former sushi chef visited North Korea for the first time in 11 years, and apparently there were no hard feelings as he met new leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.
The chef, who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, was Kim’s personal chef from 1989 until 2001 and has published several books about this time in the secretive country. Fujimoto’s 2003 memoir offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the North’s ruling household.
The young North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, called Fujimoto by his real name, said “Long time no see’ and told him he was always welcome in the North, according to the chef. Kim’s younger sister Yeo-jeong also came to the party where they met, but his older brother Jong-chol was not there.
Fujimoto treated the young North Korean leader to blue-fin tuna that he brought with him.
The two discussed no hairy issues like the North’s bizarre abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 80s or Pyongyang-Tokyo relations in general, Fujimoto said.
Fujimoto went to North Korea on July 21 and also met his family in Pyongyang during the visit. Why Kim Jong-un invited Fujimoto back remains something of a puzzle. Back in 2001, the chef virtually fled the North after being accused of spying, leaving his North Korean wife and children in Pyongyang.
“Kim Jong-un has recently been showing signs of opening up his country and may be seeking to send some kind of message to Tokyo with this treatment of Fujimoto,” an informed source said.