Alleged Sex-Tape Singer Thought to Have Been Executed in North Korea Turns Up Alive

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 19 2014 4:50 PM

North Korean Singer Thought to Have Been Killed by Firing Squad After Sex-Tape Scandal Turns Up Alive

142921476
Kim Jong-un.

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

A North Korean singer named Hyon Song-wol, reported to have been killed by firing squad last year (perhaps to cover up the involvement of Kim Jong-un's wife in a sex-tape ring), appeared alive last Friday on state TV. From the New York Times:

In August last year, the conservative South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo reported that Mr. Kim had ordered the executions of a dozen North Korean performers, including Ms. Hyon, for making videos of themselves performing sex acts and then selling the recordings.
The Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun later reported that Mr. Kim had ordered the executions to prevent the spreading of rumors that his wife, Ri Sol-ju, had engaged in similar acts when she was a singer.
Nam Jae-joon, director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, helped fuel such reports by telling lawmakers in Seoul that his agency was aware of them, although he did not specify who was executed.
Advertisement

Hyon appeared, the Times says, as the director of an all-female group called the Moranbong Band—click that link to watch one of their performances.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?