US Intelligence Chief Who Dined with Kim Jong Un in North Korea Describes Mixed Reception


At least Clapper got a great meal out of the experience. 

James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence who, in November, had the rare opportunity to share a dinner with Kim Jong Un, recently shared some more details about his trip during a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations.

According to Reuters, Clapper arrived in Pyongyang to a “marvelous” 12-course meal at a restaurant above a bowling alley, hosted by a prominent general. Previously, Clapper described the meal as some of the best Korean food he had ever eaten, though “the company was not pleasurable.”

If you’ll recall, Clapper’s evening ended with the presentation of a bill from his hosts, whereupon Kim Jong Un must have also decided that the time for pleasantries had come to an end.

The next day, Clapper was summarily dismissed by the North Korean government. Reuters reports, “A representative of the state security ministry came to his guest house and told him the government no longer considered him a presidential envoy and could not guarantee his security and that of his party.”

Clapper and his team, who were in North Korea to retrieve two captive American citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, were taken to a hotel room where the two men were waiting, still in their prison uniforms.


After Miller and Bae were dismissed with a “denunciation” from North Korean officials, the Americans left for the airport and boarded a flight back to the United States.