Now You Know
Last August, the world learned that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of pop star Hyon Song-wol, a reputed former girlfriend, and 11 other popular performers for making pornographic videos; their bandmates and loved ones were forced to watch the machine-gun firing squad carry out the order, before being shipped off to prison camps themselves. Or not.
Celebrities, porn, the Kim family, and machine-gun firing squads? This would fall in the journalism sand trap (and internet mainstay) of "too good to check." Unless Pyongyang has mastered the art of hologram performance, it's a good reminder to take North Korean rumors — even when reported by heavyweight newspapers like South Korea's Chosun Ilbo or Japan's Asahi Shimbun — with a healthy dose of salt.
Luckily, we can celebrate the not-dead Hyon by watching her performing one of her hits, "A Girl In The Saddle Of A Steed." --Peter Weber