North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Did Kim Cho’ng-ch’o’l [Kim Jong Chol] see Slowhand in Singapore?

Kim Jong-chol, the second son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, is seen at an Eric Clapton concert in Singapore on Monday, according to a report by Korea Broadcasting System on Feb. 15 (Yonhap)

Kim Cho’ng-ch’o’l (Kim Jong Chol) seems to have once again indulged his affection for Eric Clapton.  KBS caught sight of a person resembling Kim Cho’ng-il’s second son attending Mr. Clapton’s 14 February [Monday] concert at Singapore Indoor Stadium.  Ch’ong-ch’o’l was reportedly in a group of 20 different people, some of whom shielded him from cameras.

Yonhap reports:

Kim, dressed in black pants and a T-shirt, was accompanied by some 20 men and women at a concert hall in Singapore on Feb. 14, two days ahead of his father’s birthday, according to Korea Broadcasting System (KBS).

Kim was seen taking photos in front of the stage and talking with the women who accompanied him, said KBS, adding that the entourage blocked cameras.

“It seems correct that Kim Jong-chol recently visited Singapore. But I don’t know if he went to a concert,” said a source.

The Singapore event marks Kim’s first appearance in the media since 2006, when he was seen at another Eric Clapton concert in Germany.

Jean Tan reviewed Clapton’s Singapore gig on AsiaOne:

But, if you shut your eyes, you would have been pardoned for thinking you were back in the 1960s and 1970s when Clapton was at his Cream-iest best and Layla was a raw and powerful ode to unrequited love (and not the schmaltz of easy-listening as it is known today).

Though it was Valentine’s Day, as evidenced by the multitudes of loved-up couples around this reviewer, Clapton did not use it as an excuse to turn his concert into a ballad fest.

He did what he does best, serving up an array of blues tunes, from Hoochie Coochie Man to Nobody Loves You When You’re Down And Out and Bo Didley’s Before You Accuse Me. And he didn’t miss out on serving up the truly iconic Robert Johnson classic, Crossroads.

He did give a nod to his mainstream hits, playing I Shot The Sheriff. Here, White and John poured every curve of their bodies into their singing and shimmying.

Layla and Wonderful Tonight were also given spotlight time, to the delight of the crowd, but one felt that they were done more out of duty than movement of the spirit.

The keyboard skills of Carmon and Stainton at times brought to mind the duelling banjo scene from the movie Deliverance, with each riff from the other better than the last.

They and the rest of the band alone would have been worth watching. But, when you add one of the greatest living guitar and blues legends on the planet, you have a night to truly savour and remember.



This article was written on 16 Feb 2011, and is filled under DPRK External Relations, Kim Family, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, KJI Personal Secretariat, Korean Workers' Party (KWP), Third Floor.

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