Passport

Kim Jong Il: Let them eat pizza

Choson Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan, reports that Supreme Leader and noted epicure Kim Jong Il has opened the first pizzeria in his famine-wracked country.   Kim’s interest in gourmet food and drink is long-standing — he’s Hennessy cognac’s biggest individual customer, for instance. The restaurant is the culmination of his decade-long investment ...

587737_090316_KimJongIl5.jpg


Choson Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan, reports that Supreme Leader and noted epicure Kim Jong Il has opened the first pizzeria in his famine-wracked country.  

Kim’s interest in gourmet food and drink is long-standing — he’s Hennessy cognac’s biggest individual customer, for instance. The restaurant is the culmination of his decade-long investment in producing the perfect pies. In the 1990s, he hired an Italian pizza-maker to teach his staff the vital art of olive placement. And, after “trial and error” failed to bring the pizza up to snuff, he sent them to Italy last year.

Apparently the trip was a success: the restaurant now serves pasta and pizza made with ingredients flown in from Europe to North Korea’s elite. Though Kim allegedly “does not eat much, but enjoys picking at various kinds of food, as if just to taste” — an irony that’s got to be hard to stomach.  

Photo: KNS/AFP/Getty Images

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.