North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has promoted to the politburo of the Communist regime his ex-lover, who was believed to have been executed by firing squad years ago.
In 2013 South Korean media reported that on August 17 Hyon Song-wol, Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend, had been arrested for violating pornography laws. Hyon was one of the most famous female singers of the Hermit Kingdom, known for her patriotic songs and folk ballads.
Hyon was allegedly detained alongside 11 well-known North Korean performers on charges of filming and selling sex tapes. Three days later they were reportedly machine-gunned as their relatives and members of other North Korean pop groups were forced by the authorities to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps.
It was speculated that Ri Sol-ju, the wife of the North Korean dictator, was behind Hyon’s downfall. Ri and Hyon had both been members of the Unhasi Orchestra.
In May of 2014, Hyon Song-wol suddenly reappeared on North Korean state television and gave a speech at a national art workers rally in Pyongyang.
According to Chinese website sohu.com, Kim Jong-un and Hyon Song-wol have known each other since childhood.
From 1996 to 2000 Kim Jong-un and his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, lived in Switzerland to learn English, French and German. Because the North Korean authorities were worried that they might feel lonely in a foreign country, they sent to Europe several North Koreans of the same age, among them Hyon Song-wol. It is rumoured that Kim Jong-un fell in love with her at that time.
After they returned to North Korea, Kim Jong-un was sent by his father, dictator Kim Jong-il, to university, while Hyon began her career as a singer. She became very famous in the country, and Kim Il-sung himself reportedly admired her.
Hyon’s songs had the crude propaganda style typical of the Communist regime: “I work all day and when my job is done, I still feel full of energy. People say I’m like a fine horse who runs as fast as lightning. I owe my strength to the leader, I will show my gratitude by repaying the leader all my life,” say the lyrics of her 2005 hit “A Fine Horse-like Lady.”
However, in 2006 Kim Jong-il put an end to Hyon’s career when he forced her to marry a military officer. Kim prohibited his son from seeing her again and chose Ri Sil-ju as his wife. Kim and Ri married in 2009.
After he became supreme leader in 2011, Kim Jong-un allegedly resumed his old affair with Hyon. She once again allowed to perform as a singer and began a new successful career as the leading voice of the female group Moranbong, whose members were allegedly chosen by Kim himself.
On October 10, the anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), North Korean state media announced that Hyon Song-wol was promoted to the Central Committee of the WPK. Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, was also appointed as a member of the Committee.
Kim Jong-un has thus given his sister and ex-lover, with whom he spent his adolescence in Switzerland, two of the most influential posts in the country.
In December 2013 Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, a powerful figure who is believed to have been the number two in the country’s leadership before Kim Jong-un assumed office.
Reports suggest that Jang was plotting a coup to replace Kim Jong-un with his half brother, and that he had proposed the plan to then-Chinese leader Hu Jintao. Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Jong-nam was murdered in Malaysia in February.
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