North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend, a singer, was among a dozen well-known performers who were executed by firing squad nine days ago, South Korean media reported.
Hyon Song-wol is said to have been arrested on Aug. 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography, The Telegraph said.
Three days later, "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," said a Chinese source as reported in South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
The onlookers then were sent to prison camps, victims of the regime's assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated, according to The Telegraph.
Mr. Kim is believed to have met Hyon about 10 years ago, but his father, deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, did not approve of the relationship and ordered him to break it off.
Hyon went on to marry an officer in the military and reportedly had a baby, although there are rumors she continued to see the younger Mr. Kim after her marriage, The Telegraph reported.
Kim Jong-un'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 report said.
An expert on North Korean affairs believes the singer was executed for "political reasons."
"If these people had only made pornographic videos, then it is simply not believable that their punishment was execution," Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University, told The Telegraph. "Or, as Kim's wife once belonged to the same group, it is possible that these executions are more about Kim's wife."
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