Dish harking back to Kim’s childhood to be served at summit

On the menu for Friday's summit are Swiss rosti with a Korean twist (above), chosen in homage to Mr Kim Jong Un's childhood in Switzerland, and baked John Dory, a nod to Mr Moon Jae In's younger days in Busan.
On the menu for Friday's summit are Swiss rosti with a Korean twist (above), chosen in homage to Mr Kim Jong Un's childhood in Switzerland, and baked John Dory, a nod to Mr Moon Jae In's younger days in Busan. PHOTOS: SOUTH KOREA'S BLUE HOUSE
On the menu for Friday's summit are Swiss rosti with a Korean twist, chosen in homage to Mr Kim Jong Un's childhood in Switzerland, and baked John Dory (above), a nod to Mr Moon Jae In's younger days in Busan.
On the menu for Friday's summit are Swiss rosti with a Korean twist, chosen in homage to Mr Kim Jong Un's childhood in Switzerland, and baked John Dory (above), a nod to Mr Moon Jae In's younger days in Busan. PHOTOS: SOUTH KOREA'S BLUE HOUSE
Other dishes will include charcoal-grilled beef (above) from Seosan Beef Farm in South Korea's Chungcheongnam-do province, and mango mousse for dessert, decorated with the unification flag and spring flowers and encased in a chocolate shell.
Other dishes will include charcoal-grilled beef (above) from Seosan Beef Farm in South Korea's Chungcheongnam-do province, and mango mousse for dessert, decorated with the unification flag and spring flowers and encased in a chocolate shell.
Other dishes will include charcoal-grilled beef from Seosan Beef Farm in South Korea's Chungcheongnam-do province, and mango mousse for dessert (above), decorated with the unification flag and spring flowers and encased in a chocolate shell.
Other dishes will include charcoal-grilled beef from Seosan Beef Farm in South Korea's Chungcheongnam-do province, and mango mousse for dessert (above), decorated with the unification flag and spring flowers and encased in a chocolate shell.

SEOUL * North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be served Swiss rosti with a Korean twist at a historic summit on Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae In, the South's presidential Blue House said yesterday.

The fried potato dish was chosen as a homage to Mr Kim's childhood spent in Switzerland, said the Blue House in announcing the menu for the welcome dinner. Baked John Dory, a dish made from the flat sea fish, will also be served as a nod to Mr Moon's younger days in the South Korean port city of Busan.

North Korea has never confirmed Mr Kim was educated in Switzerland, but former classmates and teachers have said they spent time with him there. Swiss newspapers have also reported Mr Kim went to school there under a pseudonym.

Another item on the menu will be Pyongyang-style cold noodles, or naengmyeon, served in a chilled meat broth. Blue House spokesman Kim Eui Kyeom said: ''President Moon had requested Pyongyangstyle cold noodles from Okryugwan be included on the menu and North Korea gladly accepted.''

Okryugwan is North Korea's bestknown restaurant famous for the dish. The cold noodles will be made by its head chef, who will go to the truce border village of Panmunjom where the two leaders will meet.

The leaders can wash down the meal with a fragrant wine made from azaleas. Also on the table will be munbaeju, a distilled liquor that is 40 per cent alcohol by volume and which originated in the North, but is now traditionally made in the South.

On Friday, Mr Kim will walk across the demilitarised zone for the summit - the first time one of North Korea's rulers will set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago. Pyongyang's atomic arsenal will be high on the agenda, and a peace treaty to formally end the conflict could also be discussed.

The meeting - only the third of its kind after two in Pyongyang, with the last 11 years ago - is intended to pave the way for a highly anticipated encounter between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump.

The previous two inter-Korean summits saw Mr Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il meet late South Korean presidents Kim Dae Jung - who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts - in 2000, and Roh Moo Hyun in 2007.

In the end, they did little to slow the North's military pursuits, which have accelerated under Mr Kim, who may now feel he can negotiate from a position of strength.

But squeezed by ever-growing layers of sanctions imposed under Mr Trump's ''maximum pressure'' campaign, he seems ''more willing than ever before'' to compromise his weapons push, said Mr Hong Min, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification.

An ''ideal scenario'' would be Mr Kim expressing a clear commitment to denuclearise on Friday, Mr Hong said, before laying out specific plans in the summit with Mr Trump.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2018, with the headline 'Dish harking back to Kim’s childhood to be served at summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe