News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More
Aug 29, 2013 11:45 AM EDT | James Inverne
Sickening reports of North Korea. South Korean media, further reported by reputable Western outlets, are saying that a group of musicians in the north have been executed, apparently for breaking the laws on pornography.
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Every news report we've seen leads with the fact that one of those killed is Unhasu Orchestra singer Hyon Song-wol--at one stage, rumored to have been romantically involved with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. She, along with 11 other musicians, are said to have been arrested on August 17. They were machine gunned three days afterwards. Witnesses to the shootings, apparently families of the victims and other members of the Unhasu Orchestra, the Wangjaesan Light Band and the Moranbong Band were sent to prison camps. The first two of those groups have been disbanded. The singer and the other victims, all musicians or dancers, were reported to have been convicted of filming themselves having sex and distributing the film.
Various outlets report that Hyon Song-wol met the present North Korean dictator around a decade ago, before his father's death. Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, disapproved. Jong-un was ordered to break up with her, which he duly did, and married an army officer who was, herself, a one-time member of the Unhasu Orchestra, too. The reporting suggests that Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, was annoyed by Hyon's fame as a singer.
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