The lack of information about Kim Jong Il and his likely successor, his son Kim Jong Un, speaks volumes about just how closed a society North Korea is.
Even among foreign intelligence circles, little has been gathered about this future leader.
Much of what the world does know comes from a man who for more than a decade was the Kim family's personal chef.
Al Jazeera's Steve Chao caught up with him in Japan, where he is today in hiding.
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