In a rare piece of good news from North Korea, it appears that the rumored former girlfriend of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is alive after all.
Singer Hyon Song Wol was believed to have been executed last year after South Korean newspaper Chosun ilbo cited a North Korean source who claimed she had been killed by a firing squad along with 11 members of the country's famed Unhasu Orchestra. Hyon was believed to have been charged with violating North Korea's pornography laws, after allegedly being found to have made a sex tape. Such a rumor would normally be cause for heavy suspicion and disbelief were it not North Korea, an incredibly opaque nation where stranger and more awful things have been known to happen.
Last Friday, however, Hyon appeared on state TV, giving a speech in which she lauded the president for his support of the arts, reports the LA Times. The appearance was also posted to the official DPRK YouTube channel.
A prominent performer in North Korea's Unhasu Orchestra, Hyon's fame peaked with the popular song "Excellent Horse-Like Lady." She is said to have dated Kim in the early 2000's but disappeared from the public eye in 2006. It was rumored the couple took up their romance again after the death of Kim Jong Il in 2011.
This isn't the first time that a bizarre report emerging out of the Hermit Kingdom turns out to be false. The Hyon rumor joins recent examples that include students being forced to get the same haircut as Kim and the leader's uncle being mauled to death by a pack of hungry dogs.