A jarring report out of North Korea claims that Kim Jong Un's former girlfriend was executed by a firing squad last week.
Chosun Ilbo,an English language newspaper in South Korea, said unnamed sources in China told it that Hyon Song Wol (of "Excellent Horse-Like Lady" fame) was arrested on Aug. 17 along with about a dozen others; Hyon was a singer, and a number of the others were members of the Unhasu Orchestra.
They were accused of making a sex tape and selling it and were shot three days later for violating the country's pornography laws. A source said some allegedly had Bibles in their possession, and all were treated as political dissidents.
The report has not been independently verified by other media outlets. Chosun Ilbo is one of Seoul's main daily newspapers.
Chosun Ilbo said it is unclear if Kim's wife had anything to do with the deaths; before becoming the spouse of the "dear leader" she was also in that same orchestra. Kim had reportedly known Hyon for about 10 years, and their relationship ended at the orders of Kim Jong Il, though rumors have persisted that the two were having an affair.
New York magazine said that while it's difficult to verify reports like these, the fact that it's one of South Korea's main daily papers reporting it lends it a sliver of believability.
More harsh treatment in North Korea: A comedian was recently pulled from the stage and sent to a coal mine.