North Korea has hilarious propaganda, but it’s important to remember that all of it rests on fear of a regime that’s legitimately terrifying. Case in point: according to recent reports, Hyon Song-wol (pictured), a North Korean singer rumored to be an ex-lover of Kim Jong-un, was executed by firing squad after being arrested on pornography charges August 17th. I’m told that, trying to copy Western pornography, the filmmakers simply misinterpreted the directive to “line up a bunch of guys and have them shoot on her.” (Worst sentence I’ve ever written? Possibly.)
From The Telegraph:
The reports in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography.
All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime’s assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.
Jesus, I’m surprised they didn’t shoot the people who dug the graves.
Hyon’s band was responsible for a string of patriotic hits in North Korea, including “Footsteps of Soldiers,” “I Love Pyongyang,” “She is a Discharged Soldier” and “We are Troops of the Party.” Her popularity reportedly peaked in 2005 with the song “Excellent Horse-Like Lady.”
Damn you, North Korea. Even in a story about mass executions, I can’t help but laugh at “Excellent Horse-Like Lady.” North Korea leads the world in tragicomedy.
The 12 who were executed were singers, musicians or dancers with the Hyon’s band,, the Unhasu Orchestra or the Wanghaesan Light Music Band and were accused of making videos of themselves performing sex acts and then selling the recordings. [A story few North Korean experts believe, saying the executions were more than likely political.]
Kim Jong-un, who became leader of North Korea after the sudden death of his father in December 2011, is believed to have met Hyon about 10 years ago and struck up a relationship.
His father, Kim Jong-il, did not approve of the relationship and ordered him to break it off. Hyon subsequently married an officer in the North Korean military and reportedly had a baby, although there are suggestions that Hyon continued to see Kim after her marriage.
Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, was also a member of the Unhasu Orchestra before marriage and one theory is that Ri objected to the continuing high profile of her husband’s former girlfriend.
The theory was slightly undermined, however, when the guy who floated it was drowned in a cement cube and dropped into a volcano.
Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was executed with a mortar round in October 2012.
Kim Chol was reportedly executed for drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il’s death.
On the explicit orders of Kim Jong-un to leave “no trace of him behind, down to his hair,” according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and “obliterated.”
So, who wants to argue some more about Miley Cyrus?