Bosintang: North Korea's 'healthy' dog soup

Article published on Dec. 19, 2011
Article published on Dec. 19, 2011
Halal or not, it seems that puppy is the prize meat on the menu. Dictator Kim Jong-il knew this before his death on 17 December 2011: dog soup is good for your health, your dictatorship and international relations

In 2007, the late Kim Jong-il was in good shape. He even gave health advice to others. Always a bit of a dark horse behind those shades, his eyes only focused on the finer things in life, the former North Korean dictator even managed, with the help of the North Korean news agency KCNA, to find himself in a press rush from the AFPpraising the health benefits of this wonder soup.

...we're going to have to redecorate!'

In July 2007, Kim Jong-il claimed that dog soup was the 'best dish to eat during the hot summer days'. Bosintang (literally 'health soup') is enjoyed by sweaty workers in restaurants all over the capital, Pyongyang. Bosintang in Pyongyang - it even rhymes nicely.

There had to be a hair in this soup, though. The soup, also called dangoji or 'exquisite meat', was made famous by the founder of North Korea, Kim il-Sung (father of the late Kim Jong-il). It was an object of conflict between North and South Korea, where it was eaten in a secretive manner. According to some, it even became a luxury dish in a country suffering from severe famine. The city of Seoul went as far as banning the dish in 1984, before the summer Olympics of 1988, out of the fear that foreigners wouldn't be very pleased with the fact that Koreans eat dog.

Recipe: making bosintang à la Kim Jong-il

Buy yourself the latest pair of Rayban Aviator glassesWear a khaki tunic with a V collarShave the sides of your head but not the top (it's called the hipster style)Add a pinch of dictatorial reignAdd about a litre of sweat of 24 million exploited workersAnd, lastly: don't forget the vegetables!

Image: (cc) andrewyang/ Flickr