US Director of National Intelligence Billed by North Korea for Dinner with Dear Leader Kim Jong Un

National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper was presented a bill during the end of his dinner with Kim Jong Un

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

We can’t imagine how much dinner with the Dear Leader costs, but we can confidently guess that the experience was priceless. 

During a recent discussion about American cyber security in New York, United States Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. described his November visit to North Korea to discuss the terms of release for two imprisoned Americans, and a dinner with the Dear Leader the night before he retrieved them. 

Clapper described the dinner, “an elaborate, 12-course Korean meal,” as some of the most delicious Korean food he had ever eaten.

“Having spent time in Korea, I consider myself somewhat a connoisseur of Korean food, and that was one of the best Korean meals I’ve ever had,” though unfortunately, “the company was not pleasurable,” said Clapper.

Kim Jong Un reportedly “spent most of the meal berating me about American aggression and what terrible people we were,” and referred to U.S. and South Korean military exercises as a “provocation to war.”

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Finally, according to The Washington Post, the tense evening ended with Clapper being presented a bill for his share of the meal. It may seem a touch uncouth to charge one’s own guest for dinner, but, as the Post points out, “when you’re hard up for hard currency, every dollar counts.” U.S. officials have not disclosed the bill amount.