SEOUL, July 8 (UPI) -- Every leaf of lettuce headed for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's dining table must pass meticulous inspection, and new food tests require the use of microscopes – signs Kim is paranoid about what he eats, according to a source.
North Korea's June 17 Farm in the Yongsong district of Pyongyang exclusively produces fruits and vegetables for Kim and North Korea's privileged class, South Korean news outlet Daily NK reported.
The farm was a gift from the late Kim Jong Il to his father Kim Il Sung in the 1980s. The greenhouses surrounded by mountains are known to grow North Korea's finest fruits and vegetables – as they are not cultivated for mass consumption.
Quality control, however, has never been as rigorous as it has become after Kim Jong Un fully assumed power in 2012.
North Korea's "highest authorities" now scrutinize fruits and vegetables cultivated in the greenhouses, the source told Daily NK.
"Produce headed for Kim Jong Un's table undergo a thorough cleaning. It then undergoes general, then specific inspections at a factory," the source said.
Food safety is a particular concern for Kim Jong Un and the farm only employs young, single North Koreans in their twenties of good class standing. Nearly all workers are graduates of elite universities in Pyongyang, and they are responsible for carefully inspecting the produce for "germs, toxins and health hazards," according to the source.
On Wednesday North Korea's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun ran an article of Kim's visit to the Pyongyang Vegetable Science Research Institute, where he said the facilities "were wonderful," while providing field guidance to workers.
Yonhap reported the work processes at the center were computer-automated and Kim had marveled at the innovations at the farm.
Kim's field guidance visits, however, have not always run so smoothly.
The manager of a terrapin farm was reportedly executed, after Kim expressed his displeasure with its condition.