Kim Jong-un reportedly spends $30 million a year on this one bad habit

The North Korean leader is reportedly a massive eater and drinker, and does not shy away from spending money on what he loves.

Kim Jong-un reportedly spends $30 million a year on this one bad habit
Kim Jong-un reportedly spends $30 million a year on this one bad habit

As Kim-Jong un is set to meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss the potential sale of munitions and technology, let’s take a look at the North Korean leader’s outrageous spending. It is well known that he will be making this trip in an armoured luxury train, but transport isn’t the only thing the despot likes to indulge in.

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There is often speculation that Kim Jong-un suffers from poor health as he disappears for long periods of time and recently seemed to have gained weight. This bad habit could have something to do with it: the North Korean leader reportedly spends $30 million a year on alcohol.

Kim Jong-un’s favourite food and drink

In July 2023, an expert in defence and security revealed many surprising facts about Kim Jong-un’s eating and drinking habits in an interview with the Daily Star. Professor Anthony Glees explained that money is no object:

Kim Jong-un is the 36th richest man in the world, and in 2018 took delivery of two special Maybach Mercedes S600s, has 17 palaces, and a private plane.

Indeed, according to Kim's chef, he is an ‘inveterate boozer, drinks Black Label Scotch whisky and Hennessy Brandy’. Trade data made public by the Chinese General Administration of Customs show that the despot spends $30 million a year on imported high-quality spirits, according to India Today.

Sensibly, the North Korean leader doesn’t just drink on an empty stomach. He also has a passion for parma ham and Swiss cheese.

It seems his love for consuming goes way back: Kenji Fujimoto, who was the personal sushi chef for Kim Jong-un’s father for 13 years, spilled the beans about Kim’s dining habits in 2015. He told the Daily Mail that Kim Jong-un would join his father regularly for dinner:

He drank a lot. His favourite was Cristal, usually about two bottles [in a sitting].

The publication also quotes Ermanno Furlanis, an Italian chef hired in 1997 by the Kim family. He explains that Kim Jong-un may have inherited his love of food from his father, Kim Jong-il. According to Furlanis, Kim Jong-il’s interest in food was ‘not normal’ - the chef describes him as a ‘maniac’.

The effect of this habit on Kim’s health

Kim Jong-un is officially 5ft 7in tall. There have been reports that he is actually smaller, and that he uses lifts to give himself an extra few inches, but the point is: Kim Jong-un is a short man.

According to intelligence reports from Seoul, South Korea, the avid eater now weighs around 136 kilograms. He is also big on smoking, and is rumoured to suffer from insomia.

Professor Glees revealed that his weight has earned him an unflattering nickname, ‘Pang’ - this translates to ‘the fat one’.

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Sources used:

India Today: Kim Jong Un in a ‘vicious cycle’ of boozing and smoking, weighs over 140 kg: Report

India Today: $7,000 Hennessy brandy, Parma ham: Inside Kim Jong Un’s kingly diet

Daily Star: 'Murderous' Kim Jong-un 'loves Parma ham and guzzling £32 Tesco whisky', claims expert

Rum Raiders: Kim Jong-un Reportedly Spending $30 Million a Year on Hennessy and Other High End Spirits

Daily Mail: Gorging on steak, cheese and two bottles of Cristal champagne in one sitting: Former chef reveals the extravagant tastes of Kim Jong-un that has led to North Korean dictator's massive weight gain

North Korea: Kim Jong-un reportedly wants to rearm his military to fight against 'hostile forces' North Korea: Kim Jong-un reportedly wants to rearm his military to fight against 'hostile forces'