By Kim Se-jeong
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s second eldest son Kim Jong-chul, 31, was spotted by a South Korean TV camera crew in Singapore, Monday.
KBS showed video footage of him Tuesday waiting in line at a concert hall to see a performance by Eric Clapton, the famous British rock singer.
This is second time that he has been photographed at a Clapton concert following a previous sighting in Germany in 2006.
The footage showed Kim accompanied by dozens of men and women.
Separate shots showed him taking pictures inside the concert hall, as a young woman sat next to him.
It is not a secret that Jong-chul is a huge fan of Clapton. In a recent WikiLeaks cable, the former U.S. ambassador to Korea, Alexander Vershbow, wrote the regime had tried to invite the singer to Pyongyang for a concert, though Clapton turned down the offer.
Jong-chul is believed to be on good terms with Jong-un, the heir to the North Korean regime.
Both born to Goh Young-hee, a ballerina girlfriend of Kim Jong-il, Jong-chul and his brother went to school in Bern, Switzerland in the 1990s.
His trip to Singapore came two days before his father’s birthday, celebrated as one of the biggest holidays in North Korea.
Analysts showed a mixed reaction to the news. One scholar appearing on KBS said it indicated the power shift to Jong-un has been successful.
Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University said, on the other hand, it carried very little significance.
“If he were away today (the eve of the father’s birthday), it would be a totally different story.”
Song Byeok, a defector painter, said the news didn’t come as a surprise at all.
“That’s the nature of the corruption in North Korea.”
김정일 차남 김정철, 싱가포르 에릭 클랩턴 공연서 포착
김정일 북한 국방위원장 차남 김정철의 모습이 언론에 포착됐다.
15일 KBS 1TV ‘9시 뉴스’에 따르면 지난 14일(현지시각) 싱가포르에서 김정철은 '팝의 거장' 에릭 클랩튼(Eric Clapton)의 공연을 관람했다.
보도에 따르면 검은색 선글라스를 쓰고 검은색 바지와 라운드 반 팔 티셔츠를 입은 김정철은 경호원들로 보이는 수행원 20여 명과 함께 공연장에 모습을 드러냈다.
이들은 취재카메라가 김정철에게 접근하자 “왜 찍냐”며 접근을 막기도 했으며 공연장으로 들어간 김정철은 동행한 여성들과 이야기를 나누며 클랩튼의 공연을 즐겼다.
김정철은 모습이 언론에 공개된 것은 지난 2006년 일본의 후지TV 카메라에 포착된 이후 5년만이다.