Hyon Song-wol, the former Korean pop singer famous for pro-government tunes like "Excellent Horse-like Lady" and "I Love Pyongyang," could be romantically tied to the country's dictator, Kim Jong-un. While reports from the region are scarce, the two could be romantically involved or even married.
Hyong Song-wol was seen at several engagements along with Kim Jong-un, which led to various rumors that she could be his sister, Kim Yeo Jong, or another "mystery woman." However, she was identified by South Korean sources as the pop singer of the Bochonbo Electronic Music Band. Some allege that this may be a rekindling of a long-lost romance.
"The two have known each other since they were in their teens and rumors about the two having an affair have been circulating among Pyongyang's top elite," a South Korean intelligence officer told the JoongAng Daily.
The publication reported that Hyon and Kim first became "romantically attached" over a decade ago, when the youngest son of Kim Jong-il had completed his studies abroad. After returning from Switzerland, the two met, but his father ordered him to stop seeing her. As he was being groomed for the eventual position of dictator, the orders were followed.
Hyon Song-wol moved on with her life as well. She went on to make various pro-regime hits like "Excellent Horse-like Lady," which includes the lyric "All my life I will live to uphold [Kim Jong-il's] name!"
Her popularity waned in 2006 when she married a military officer of the North Korean Army in 2000 and had a child, though. Back in March of this year she was seen "heavily pregnant," according to JoongAng Daily, but now, they allege, she stands by Kim Jong-un's side.
Not everyone believes the report. Yang Moo-Jin of Seoul's University of North Korean studies thinks that the break in tradition would be too great for Kim Jong-un to publicly tout romantic liaisons: his father, Kim Jong-il, was married, but never included the First Lady in public appearances. In fact, the couple was estranged in later years, and he allegedly had many mistresses.
"She could be Yo-Jong or perhaps a daughter of one of the mistresses of the late Kim Jong-il … so that Jong-un can publicly showcase the solidarity in the ruling family," Yang was quoted by Daily Mail.
Jong-il's death, though, may have been the last thing stopping Jong-un from rekindling the romance once forbidden. The tyrannical dictator died in December 2011, and Jong-un took over soon after.