N Korea leader `having affair with married singer`

South Korean intelligence sources named the attractive, short-haired woman, who has been pictured with Kim Jong-un, as Hyon Song-wol.

Last Updated: Jul 11, 2012, 08:46 AM IST

London: North Korea`s Kim Jong-un is having an affair with a previously married singer who has been pictured with the leader at several recent events, media reports said on Tuesday.

South Korean intelligence sources named the attractive, short-haired woman as Hyon Song-wol, who used to front the Bochonbo Electronic Music Band and was hugely popular among the North Korean masses, reported The Telegraph.

Responsible for a string of hits that included "Footsteps of Soldiers", "I Love Pyongyang", her popularity reportedly peaked in 2005 with the song Excellent Horse-Like Lady.

Hyon subsequently disappeared from public view at the time that Kim emerged as the heir-apparent to his father, Kim Jong-il.

There are reports that 28-year-old Kim Jong-un was ordered to break off his relationship with Hyon by his father and that she later married an officer in the North Korean Army with whom she has a baby.

There have been no reports on the whereabouts of Hyon`s husband, or whether they are even still married, or her young baby.

"The two have known each other since they were in their teens and rumours about the two having an affair have been circulating among Pyongyang`s top elite," a South Korean intelligence official told the JoongAng Daily in Seoul.