North Korea: Singer who was claimed executed is apparently alive

In August 2013, the North Korean singer Hyon Song-Wol was reported by South Korea’s largest daily newspaper The Chosun Ilbo to have been executed by firing squad. On 16 May 2014, she appeared on North Korean state television, apparently alive and well, as she delivered a speech at a national art workers rally in Pyongyang.


The singer was reported to have been caught up in palace intrigue last summer having incurred the displeasure of Ri Sol-ju, the wife of the North Korean leader Mr Kim Jong-un. Chosun Ilbo, which is a newspaper with close links to the country’s intelligence services, reported that Hyon and eleven other well-known performers had been caught making a sex tape and executed. But on television, Hyon expressed gratitude for Mr Kim’s leadership and pledged to work harder to “stoke up the flame for art and creative work”.

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» – 30 August 2013:
North Korea: 12 musicians executed by firing squad
Unconfirmed reports claim the famous North Korean pop singer Hyun Song-wol was among a number of musicians who were executed by firing squad on 20 August 2013, according to the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.