Eric Clapton Super Fan? Who is Kim Jong Chol?

2015 photo taken at Eric Clapton Concert courtesy Yonhap News Agency

Mystery surrounds the older brother of Kim Jong Un. Few, if any, facts are known, other than the fact that he loves Eric Clapton. He was reportedly spotted in public only a very few times, and each of these times involved an Eric Clapton concert.

In 2006, Kim Jong Chol (sometimes referred to as Kim Jong Chul) purportedly attended several Clapton shows in Germany. Next, five years later, in 2011, Kim Jong Chol was spotted in Singapore at a show.

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.

Then, in 2015, a camera crew caught him on film attending Eric Clapton’s show at Albert Royal Hall, apparently going two nights in a row. The slim, handsome man was wearing a slick leather jacket and dark shades.

Wikileaks cables dated 2007 reveal the following tidbits of information on Clapton’s biggest fan:

Quoting Dr. Stephen Linton, Chairman of the Eugene Bell Foundation, (who) described a recent two-week mission in the DPRK to oversee Eugene Bell medical assistance programs…Linton, who has visited the DPRK regularly for nearly thirty years… the cable reads:

Arranging an Eric Clapton concert in Pyongyang could also be useful, he said, given Kim Jong-il’s second son’s devotion to the rock legend. END SUMMARY.

And again, a request that Eric Clapton come to Pyongyang…


9. (C) Linton passed on the suggestion from his North Korean interlocutors that the USG arrange for Eric Clapton to perform a concert in Pyongyang. As Kim Jong-il’s second son, Kim Jong-chol, is reported to be a great fan, the performance could be an opportunity to build good will. 


The Family Tree. The recently assassinated older brother, Kim Jong Nam, had a different mother.

Courtesy Korea Joongang Daily.

As to other factual information about Kim Jong Chol, there is very little. He and Kim Jong Un have the same mother, and Kim Jong Chol was born in 1981, studying in Switzerland as a young man.

Kim Jong Chol is said to have fallen out of favor as the leader of DPRK because he is, according to some, girlish and soft-hearted. The Hankook Ilbo newspaper out of Seoul, South Korea reports it this way: he was “suffering symptoms of hypersecretion of female hormones.” (No official source was quoted.)

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.