(CNN) – What is North Korean leader Kim Jong Il - among the most reclusive of all world leaders - really like?
"He is actually fairly straightforward," said former Ambassador Wendy Sherman who served as former President Bill Clinton's policy advisor on North Korea.
But Sherman, one of a handful of American diplomats who hve engaged in direct talks with the North Korean leader, also said Kim Jong-Il reveals very little about himself.
"He doesn't much like to talk about his family and his personal circumstances, but he really is the leader of his universe," she said in an interview with CNN's John King on State of The Union.
"He doesn't have to worry about the global economic crisis. He doesn't have to worry about the war in Afghanistan or building down in Iraq," she added. "He doesn't have to worry about health care for his country. He only has worry about one thing, and that's keeping his power."