Eric Clapton has important fan in North Korea

Anna Fifield (whom I briefly met in Pyongyang in 2005) reports today in the  Financial Times that the DPRK has invited Eric Clapton to make an appearance in Pyongyang:

The New York Philharmonic performed in Pyongyang on Tuesday night. The North Korean State Symphony Orchestra plans to perform in London this summer.

Pyongyang has invited Mr Clapton, whose hits include “Cocaine” and “Tears in Heaven”, as a reciprocal visit for the North Korean orchestra tour, the Financial Times has learnt.

“These cultural exchanges are a way of promoting understanding between countries,” a North Korean official told the FT. “We want our music to be understood by the western world and we want our people to understand western music.” (Financial Times)

Of course, we have known since 2006 that Mr. Clapton has at least one important fan in the DPRK:

While the rest of the world was anxiously following news about North Korea’s recent missile tests, Kim Jong-il’s second son and possible heir apparent, Kim Jong-chul, had his mind focused on entirely different matters. He was among the fans who followed British rock and blues guitarist Eric Clapton on his German tour, which took him to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Berlin.

Jong-chul, 25, is said to be a diehard Clapton fan, and may have acquired a taste for Western popular music when, in the mid-1990s, he studied at a private international boarding school in Bern, Switzerland. (Asia Times)

The full articles can be found below:
N Korea strikes chord with Clapton invite
Financial Times
Anna Fifield
2/25/2008

Sons and heirs
Asia Times
Bertil Litner
8/18/2006

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