NORTH KOREA - An unconfirmed report has surfaced that an old flame of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un has been executed by a firing squad.
The English-language Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Thursday that singer Hyon Song Wol and 11 other entertainers from two prominent music groups in the hermit kingdom were machine-gunned to death earlier this month.
Their offence? Allegedly appearing in pornographic videos sold in North Korea and China.
A source claimed that some of the entertainers had Bibles in their possession, which is banned in North Korea, which denounces religion as an undesirable foreign influence.
Ms Hyon, believed to be 28 years old, was a singer whom Mr Kim reportedly wooed 10 years ago.
She was with one of North Korea's most popular bands, the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, noted for singing revolutionary and propaganda songs, reported Chosun Ilbo.
Her death is shocking because as recently as Aug 8, a North Korean Central TV programme showed Mr Kim clapping for her during a concert.
But less than two weeks later, she was reportedly killed on his orders. Ms Hyon and 11 other entertainers were arrested on Aug 17.
Three days later, they were shot in front of their relatives and other members of the two music groups. Family members of the condemned were sent to labour camps because they were "guilty of association".