SEOUL: Symbolism will be the main course of a banquet at Friday’s inter-Korean summit, Seoul revealed on Tuesday, with a menu featuring Pyongyang’s signature dish and food from the home towns of the South’s leaders at previous meetings.
No detailed schedule has been released yet, but the dinner will be held after the summit in the same Peace House venue on the southern side of the border Demilitarized Zone.
Some of the food will come from the North. Moon suggested the North’s signature dish of cold noodles and Pyongyang agreed to send a leading chef from Okryu-gwan, a famed restaurant in the capital city, to the venue, his office said on Tuesday.
Cold noodles come served in a cool mild broth and garnished with pieces of meat and vegetables. The long buckwheat strands are usually cut with a pair of scissors to simplify the eating process.
The South has its own varieties but even its diners tend to favour the Pyongyang version.
Friday’s menu also includes rosti — a traditional Swiss potato fritter — with a Korean twist to remind Kim of his childhood in Switzerland, it said.Kim attended boarding school in the European country.
Other dishes feature seafood, meat and rice from the home towns of Moon and the Southern presidents who went to Pyongyang for the two previous summits, Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.
Friday’s summit is a result of a months-long diplomatic campaign orchestrated by Moon, a dovish leader who advocates dialogue to bring the isolated and nuclear-armed North to nuclear negotiations.
The Blue House has a tendency to make political points with its food choices.
When US President Donald Trump visited last year, his meal included a prawn fished from the waters around Dokdo, disputed islands controlled by Seoul but claimed by fellow US ally Tokyo.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2018