Execution Tale Spreading on the Border

Lee Sang Yong  |  2013-09-05 18:48
It has emerged that a story about the supposed execution of Hyun Song Wol, an opera singer said to have previously been in an illicit relationship with Kim Jong Eun, is now spreading in cities along the North Korea-China border.

A source from Shinuiju in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK on the 5th, "The story about Hyun Song Wol getting executed is now going around Chaeha Market. Traders are the ones spreading it. In some places they say that they executed her with a machine gun. People just shake their heads when they hear that, saying things like 'The son is even more beastly than the father.'"

A source from Musan in North Hamkyung Province, far from Shinuiju, also repeated the same rumor, noting, "There is this rumor that the woman (Hyun Song Wol) produced an impure video and sold it overseas. I heard that the Marshal (Kim Jong Eun) was really angry about this, and ordered her to be executed."

As in many other countries, when North Korean singers and movie stars lose popularity they often find themselves with few options, meaning that they may fall prey to temptation. This lends the rumor greater currency than it might otherwise have. It is alleged that there are quite a few producers and brokers along the Sino-North Korean border making suspect materials for circulation in China.

A graduate of Pyongyang University of Music and Dance, Hyun was once the lead female vocalist with the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, a popular folk group. However, in 2006 her activities were suspended by the authorities. No reason was officially given, but Daily NK spoke with a defector last March who declared that “Kim Jong Il decreed that Hyun cease her activities so that she could be separated from Kim Jong Eun.” There is therefore allegedly the possibility that she began to appear in pornographic films to make ends meet.

Moreover, in the past North Korea entertainers, writers and other artists have been executed for committing indiscretions, and it would not be acceptable for someone linked to the supreme leader to have done such a thing.

Nevertheless, even North Korean people, who are accustomed to feeding off inconsistent news sources and hearsay, are unwilling to believe the story just yet. “The rumor is detailed; they say that ‘the video was distributed inside Japan but was spotted by Chongryon (the pro-North Korean residents organization in Japan) and that’s how it came out,’” the source in Shinuiju said. “But even still, it is a highly sensitive situation involving the highest leadership, so it would be strange for the authorities to just ignore the spread of it."
 
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2014.10.15
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