N. Korea Invited Eric Clapton to Play Concert

Eric Clapton performs during the Crossroads Guitar Festival Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato) Kiichiro Sato

Eric Clapton performs during the Crossroads Guitar Festival Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Kiichiro Sato
North Korea wanted to use Eric Clapton as a diplomacy-building pawn, reads the latest WikiLeaks diplomatic cable that was released Dec. 11, according to The Guardian.

The confidential cable, dated May 23, 2007, from the U.S. ambassador in Seoul details a briefing between the ambassador and a human rights worker in the region. It reveals that North Korea requested America organize an Eric Clapton concert in Pyongyang to help persuade Kim Jong-Il to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

One of Kim's sons is a big fan of the rock legend.

"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," reads the cable.

The suggestion that Clapton played in North Korea was strange, considering the country forbids rock and pop because of their western influences.

Clapton apparently "in principle" agreed to perform in the communist country in 2009, reports The Guardian.

But later Clapton's spokeswoman released a statement that read Clapton "receives numerous offers to play in countries around the world", and "there is no agreement whatsoever for him to play in North Korea."

The New York Philharmonic visited Pyongyang in 2008, which constituted the largest U.S. presence in the country since the Korean War.

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