“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.”
The officially unofficial story involves a group execution, but that's likely to have been a pretext for cleaning up part of Kim Jong Un's past. Communist dictators have a long history of purging anyone who knew them back in the day.
Stalin did it with extreme ruthlessness. In North Korea, the Kim clan have a cult of personality that makes Stalin look humble.
Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against 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.
“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 reported in the newspaper.
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."
That probably sounded better in the original Korean.
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.Some of the musicians were also found to have bibles when they were detained and all were treated as political dissidents.
The bibles and the videos are contradictory and make the whole thing look like a random set of charges. Which they probably are. Their real purpose was to cover up the real purpose of the executions.
Killing 11 other people and sending their families to permanent gulags is a minor price to pay for cleaning up Kim Jong Un's biography.
That's how the monstrous mafia running North Korea thinks.
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.
She got her way. Problem solved.