Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend, Hyon Song-wol, was recently spotted on North Korean state television nine months after she was allegedly executed. She was brutally sentenced to death, without a trial, after being caught secretly filming her sex sessions with Jong-un in a hotel.
Kim Jong-un is Supreme Leader of North Korea, and his relationship with Hyon Song-wol dates back more than 15 years. The two were in a relationship until Kim Jong-il, Jong-un's father, disapproved of her and officially ended relations. Song-wol went on to marry a North Korean soldier, while Jong-un married Ri Sol-ju, a singer. However, rumors spread that Jong-un continued to see Song-wol.
Song-wol was arrested on August 13, 2013 for making the sex tape and executed on August 20 by machine gun. Those who helped make or sell the recordings (which were mainly sold in China) were also executed. "They were executed with machine guns, while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band, and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on," sources reportedly said at the time. The victims' families and friends were then taken away to a labor camp, having been found "guilty by association."
North Korea quickly denied the reports, calling it an "unpardonable" crime. The North Korean state news agency KCNA said that the reports were generated by the South Korean government and media. "This is an unpardonable, hideous provocation hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership," a KCNA commentary said in September. North Korean radio even aired a performance by the Unhasu Orchestra, but it could have easily been a recording.
Song-wol's recent speech at the national art workers rally in Pyongyang suggests that the execution was staged, especially since it was rumored that Sol-ju ordered the execution. Song-wol even expressed her thanks for Jong-un's leadership and pledged to work harder to "stoke up the flame for art and creative work," according to The Herald Sun.
The question that remains now: How and why is Song-wol still alive? Did Jong-un stage his ex-girlfriend's execution because he still loves her? And how did this staged execution get unnoticed, even by Sol-ju, for so long?
Surely Sol-ju must have something to say to her husband, but media outlets have been unable to get further information about the situation. We'll have to wait and see if anything surfaces over time.
[Image via Reuters]