Former Girlfriend of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Reported Previously as Executed Is Alive, Appears on TV; Building Collapse Kills Hundreds
By Vittorio Hernandez | May 19, 2014 9:14 AM EST
Is North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un the victim of black propaganda by western media or is he a heartless leader who would not hesitate to kill - even relatives and loved ones - to hold on to power?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his wife Ri Sol-ju during a ceremony - (Reuters file photo)
That would be a question likely to be asked view of new reports that said North Korean singer Hyon Song-Wol, allegedly executed by firing squad in 2013 for making a sex tape is said to be alive. In August 2013, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo - which has close connections with its neighbour's intelligence service - reported the sex tape production and subsequent killing of those involved.
To add credibility to the report, Nam Jae-Joon, the spy chief of South Korea, said in October he was aware of the so-called execution.
Reports then said they were executed with machine guns while their families and members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band witnessed the gory event.
However, North Korea denied the execution and blamed the South Korean government for the rumours. KCNA, North Korea's state-run news agency, then commented, "This is an unpardonable, hideous provocation hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership."
Hyon was seen on state television delivering an address on Friday at a national art workers rally in Pyongyang. She thanked Mr Kim for his leadership and promised to work harder to push for more art and creative work.
Jealousy on the part of Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, is being pointed to the reason behind the report of Hyon's alleged execution. Kim, now 31, and Hyon were sweethearts when they were teenagers, but Kim Jong-Il, his father and former national leader, opposed their relationship and ordered the couple to break up.
Hyon is known for the hit song Excellent Horse-like Lady (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5tkXgw2OMY).
To quash the rumours, the North Korean radio broadcast in October a performance of the Unhasu orchestra, but it failed to convince the public due to lack of live images of Hyon until last week.
However, most of the time, North Korea would rather hide images of real life in the closed country, but photographer Eric Lafforgue managed to shoot images of poverty even in the company of state-approved guides (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2624164/North-Korea-Starving-people-child-labourers-dilapidated-homes-appear-harrowing-new-images-taken-inside-rogue-state.html). He was asked to delete the images, but he saved them on the camera's memory card.
But on Sunday, North Korea opted not to hide to the world a major tragedy when an apartment collapsed in the capital city last week, with hundreds of people killed.
In a rare event, Mr Kim apologised for the loss of lives. KCNA reported that the leader "sat up all night, feeling painful after being told about the accident."
According to KCNA, officials attributed the collapse to improper construction of the apartment, although there was no definite numbers on how many North Koreans died from the building collapse.
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