Son of N Korean leader 'attends Clapton concert'

Son of N Korean leader `attends Clapton concert` Seoul: Son of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il attended a concert in Singapore this week by British guitarist Eric Clapton, a South Korean intelligence official told an agency on Wednesday.

The official, who declined to be identified, confirmed news reports in Seoul of the visit by Kim Jong-Chol, second son of the leader of the hardline communist state.

Jong-Chol, wearing black trousers and a T-shirt, was seen cheering and swaying among fans at Monday's performance in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Chosun Ilbo newspaper said.

TV footage showed a man resembling Jong-Chol entering the stadium with an entourage of some 20 people including bodyguards and women carrying bouquets. He took pictures in front of the stage and chatted with a female companion.

Jong-Chol arrived in Singapore early this month and checked into a smart hotel, Chosun said.

Sporting pierced ears, he toured Universal Studios theme park, Underwater World and bought expensive jewellery, Chosun said, adding that he flew home via Beijing after attending the concert and buying T-shirts.

He bought gifts for Kim Jong-Il and left Singapore yesterday, a day before the birthday of his father, Yonhap news agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying.

Jong-Chol, 30, has been passed over as leader-in-waiting in favour of his younger brother Jong-Un. Their father considered Jong-Chol too effeminate, according to a report by a former sushi chef to the leader.

He reportedly last attended Clapton concerts in 2006 when he followed the British star's performances in four German cities, accompanied by his apparent girlfriend or wife and North Korean bodyguards.

The leader's eldest son Jong-Nam was born to a different mother.

He apparently dropped out of contention as future leader after he was caught sneaking into Japan with a bogus passport in 2001 with a woman and child believed to be his wife and son.

He reportedly said he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Jong-Nam's teenage son was seen in 2009 among cheering fans who packed a concert in Macau by top South Korean pop star Rain, Chosun Ilbo reported at the time.