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

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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.
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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.

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