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North Korean singer thought executed appears on state television

Hyon Song-wol, a singer who was reportedly connected to Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, has made an appearance on state television Friday, contradicting reports she was executed last year by firing squad.

The singer appeared speaking at a national art workers rally in Pyongyang. She expressed her support for Kim’s governance and her dedication to help “stoke up the flame for art and creative work”.

Hyon was first reported dead in August last year by South Korean newspapers, among them Chosun Ilbo with reported ties to South Korean intelligence services. She was reportedly executed along with eleven other performers for creating and distributing sex tapes of themselves, including performers from Unhasu Orchestra, the Wangjaesan Light Music Band, and the Moranbong Band.

Reports suggested Hyon had run afoul of Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju. A report attributed to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun stated Hyon and the other performers were executed to suppress rumors Ri had behaved decadently during her time as an entertainer.

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