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Kim Jong Un’s joke about noodles at the historic inter-Korean summit Friday launched a craze in South Korea among foodies who’ve been queuing up for the tasty dish, according to a report.
The North Korean leader told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the Pyongyang Naengmyeon — buckwheat noodles in chilled meat broth — had been brought “a long way” from the capital of Pyongyang.
He then quipped to his sister, Kim Yo Jong, “Ah, we probably shouldn’t say it is far,” according to BBC News.
Kim invited Moon to taste the North’s signature dish, telling him, “I’ve been checking news and people are talking about food a lot. So I brought some Pyongyang cold noodles for President Moon to enjoy. President Moon, please feel easy and have some delicious Pyongyang noodles that we brought.”
Kim’s comment sent South Koreans flocking to cold noodle shops and to social media, where they posted about the meal, sending “cold noodles” to the top of trending keywords on Twitter.
Long lines have formed at restaurants, including at one shop in eastern Seoul that ran out of parking, according to Yonhap news agency.
The agency said people who were waiting for a table outside Jeongin Nyunok restaurant in Yeuido, Seoul, cheered when tables freed up.
“Wow, let’s try Pyongyang Naengmyeon,” one person said. “Let’s eat them with Kim Jong Un.”
Sungjoo Han told BBC Korea that the Seoul restaurant he visited for Pyongyang cold noodles — which are topped with kimchi, cucumber and pickles or meat — was packed.
“There was a long line when I arrived there. No seats available in the restaurant, so I had to wait to eat the noodle. I believe everybody came to the restaurant for the same reason,” he said.
The historic meeting between the two leaders in the demilitarized village of Panmunjom was carefully planned and included a menu of a fried Swiss potato dish, rösti — a reminder of Kim’s boarding school days in Switzerland.
Baked John Dory, a fish dish that served as a nod to Moon’s younger days in the South Korean port city of Busan, also was served.
Meanwhile, plans for an elaborate dessert of mango mousse dubbed “Spring of the People” — which depicted small islands whose ownership has been in dispute by Japan, North Korea and South Korea — sparked outrage in Japan.
It’s unclear whether the dessert was served.
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