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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Korean leader's aide spills the beans
Instant noodles
President Kim is said to have a fondness for instant noodles
The President of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung, has sacked two junior staff members for publishing a book revealing details of his family's eating habits.

The book, entitled What do people eat at the Blue House? - the name of Seoul's presidential mansion - was written by members of the kitchen staff.


Every government in the world treats as important secrets select information about its highest leaders

Park Sun-sook, presidential spokeswoman
The book apparently revealed that Mr Kim likes instant noodles, while his wife, First Lady Lee Hee-ho, has a fondness for popcorn.

But a presidential official, Park Sun-sook, said the book also contained sensitive and classified security details about the Blue House.

The official added that some of its claims were wrong or false, but would give no details.

Security secrets

The author, 29-year-old Jeon Ji-yong, was said to have violated secrecy regulations concerning information obtained while in office.

An administrator in the president's office, Kim Wun-hyeong, was also fired for helping her produce the book.

Kim Dae-Jung
The book is said to have divulged security secrets

The book contained menus and stories from behind the scenes at the president's ornate blue-tiled residence.

It also contained details of the eating habits and favourite food of the first family, past presidents and foreign guests, Ms Park said.

But the book was also found to contain "other sensitive and classified security facts," Ms Park said, which divulged information about the security procedures at the mansion.

"Every government in the world treats as important secrets select information about its highest leaders," Ms Park said as she explained why the two aides had been sacked.

Ms Park insisted that some of the information was false anyway as Ms Jeon had not been in a position to know about the eating habits of the president.

The president's office said that police were now investigating the publisher.

See also:

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08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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