U.S. to N. Korea: More Clapton, Less Clamp-Down

North Korean leader Kim Jong and rock guitarist Eric Clapton CBS/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong and rock guitarist Eric Clapton
North Korean leader Kim Jong and rock guitarist Eric Clapton
CBS/Getty Images

The United States has a birthday message for Kim Jong Il: stop ruling with an iron fist and start grooving to an iconic riff.

After reports surfaced that the North Korean leader's son Jong Chol had attended a concert by rock guitarist Eric Clapton in Singapore, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley took to Twitter to encourage the reclusive leader - who turned 69 Wednesday - to follow in his kid's footsteps.

"Actually, the Dear Leader himself would benefit from getting out more often," Crowley said.

"Of course, there is nothing preventing Kim Jong Il from opening up North Korea so his people could enjoy Clapton, and maybe get more to eat," Crowley sniped, referencing the nation's 24 million oppressed and impoverished citizens.

Indeed, while the authoritarian ruler was eating his birthday cake, North Koreans weren't so lucky. Authorities had vowed to dole out a day's worth of food to every citizen in the days leading up to Kim's birthday, but, according to a South Korean activist, the country never followed through on its promise.

If he can't feed them, Kim can at least heed Crowley's advice and get a rock n roll change of heart. Perhaps next year, the sun-glassed leader can change the world and hand out Clapton CD's for his 70th birthday.

The Telegraph posted video purporting to show Kim's son at the Clapton concert:

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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