A female defector who recently arrived in Seoul has asserted that female North Korean singer Hyun Song Wol, who performed a song on stage in Pyongyang during a televised concert commemorating International Women’s Day on March 8th, is a former love interest of Kim Jong Eun, who was in attendance at the event.
The source, Kim Yeon Ju, who arrived in Seoul shortly after the death of Kim Jong Il, is herself a former member of a popular North Korean art troupe. Speaking to Daily NK on March 21st, she explained, “Hyun Song Wol, who came from Pyongyang University of Dance and Music, was one of the best known female singers with the Bocheonbo Electronic Orchestra, but in 2006 she suddenly stopped working and disappeared. The General had ordered that her activities stop in order to get her away from Kim Jong Eun.”
According to Kim, Hyun’s real name is Han Song Wol. She and Kim Jong Eun apparently got to know each other in the early 2000s after Kim returned from his time as a boarding student at an international school in Bern, Switzerland. Kim allegedly developed a crush on the young woman when he went with his father to see the Bocheonbo Electronic Orchestra perform.
“Kim Jong Il used to use artists in concerts for close associates or family, and sometimes they ate together, so the two naturally got to be closer,” Kim claimed. “Song Wol was meeting another man at the time, but Kim Jong Eun was persistent in asking to meet her so they started dating.”
She went on, “Kim Jong Eun ended the relationship upon the strict orders of his father before he graduated from Kim Il Sung Military University. Song Wol then married the man she still lives with now.”
Hyun’s husband is an officer in the elite Escort Command, according to Kim; however, it was allegedly not easy for Kim Jong Eun to part from Hyun, and the relationship continued even after the marriage at his insistence.
Last October, Daily NK reported news of rumors swirling inside North Korea that Kim had married a woman in her 20s from North Hamkyung Province.