The ex-girlfriend of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was among a number of musicians who were executed by firing squad on August 20, according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
The paper reports that Hyon Song Wol, a singer and rumored former lover of Jong Un, was arrested on August 17 along with 11 other prominent artists for violating the communist nation's laws against pornography. Three days later, they were killed in front of their immediate families and other members of North Korea's famous pop groups. These onlookers were then sent to prison camps due to the regime's assumption of guilt by association, the Chosun Ilbo story claims.
"They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on," said a Chinese source.
The 12 murdered musicians were accused of videotaping themselves having sex and selling the videos. A source told Chosun Ilbo that some allegedly had Bibles in their possession and were treated as political dissidents.
Kim Jong Un became leader of North Korea following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011.
The Chosun Ilbo stated that Kim Jong Un met Hyon Song Wol ten years ago, but was ordered to end the relationship by his father. While Song Wol went on to marry a solider, rumors persisted that they were having an affair. Song Wol was a singer in the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, one of North Korea's most popular bands, famous for its propaganda songs.
Jong Un is now believed to be married to Ri Sol Ju, a woman often seen at his side at public events.
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— By CNBC's Kiran Moodley. Follow him on Twitter @kirancmoodley