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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seen on Aug. 3, 2013. No confirmation has been made about a report that his ex-girlfriend was executed by a firing squad.
A shocking and unconfirmed report out of South Korea alleges that an ex-girlfriend of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un has been executed by a firing squad.
The bizarre story ran in South Korea's English-language newspaper Chosun Ilbo — a daily paper with a circulation of more than 2.3 million. The report has not been confirmed by NBC News or other media outlets.
Chosun Ilbo reported that Hyon Song-Wol, a singer best known for her 2005 pop hit "Excellent Horse-Like Lady" and a woman rumored to be the former lover of the North Korean leader, was one of 12 "well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad on Aug. 20."
Chinese sources allegedly told Chosun Ilbo that Hyon and the other performers were arrested on Aug. 17 for violating national laws against pornography.
The victims, the sources told the paper, were accused of "videotaping themselves having sex and selling the videos," which apparently went on sale in North Korea and in China, Chosun Ilbo reported.
Some of the victims "allegedly had Bibles in their possession, and all were treated as political dissidents," one of the unnamed sources said.
Among those apparently executed was Mon Kyong-Jin, head of North Korea's Unhasu Orchestra, singers, musicians, and dancers with the music group the Wangjaesan Light Music Band, and the all-female group Moranbong Band.
"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," one of the unidentified sources told the newspaper.
The source also reportedly said all of the families of those executed have been sent to prison camps under "North Korea's barbaric principle of guilt by association," according to the paper.
Chosun Ilbo says Kim and Hyon met 10 years ago, before either was married, but Kim was ordered to end the relationship by his father, the late Kim Jong Il. Hyon married a soldier and Kim married Ri Sol-Ju — once a member of the Unhasu Orchestra herself — but according to Chosun Ilbo, there have been rumors of Kim and Hyon carrying on an affair.
The paper said it was not clear if Kim's wife had anything to do with the alleged killings.
Kim, the youngest of former leader Kim Jong Il's children, took power of the secretive state of North Korea after the death of his father in December 2011.