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40 top N. Korean entertainers sent to concentration camp
FEBRUARY 14, 2014 03:29  
Some 40 famous actors and actresses in North Korea have been put into a concentration camp for political prisoners in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province for their close links to Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leader`s Kim Jong Un`s uncle-in-law who was purged and executed late last year, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday, citing multiple sources on the North.

Radio Free Asia quoted sources as saying that actors belonging to the Chosun Arts Movie Studio, the Pyongyang Circus Troupe and the Mansudae Art Troupe had been taken away on two large cars and locked up in the concentration camp.

Among the arrested are Ri Ik Sung, Ryu Jin A and other top-class entertainers in the North, according to the radio. Ri is a winner of Kim Jong Il International Award, the top honor for entertainers in the North, for his role as Kim Jae-kyu, former director of South Korea`s spy agency who assassinated President Park Chung-hee in 1979, in the film "The Nation and Destiny," which is considered the best film in North Korea`s film history. Ri is also the first winner of the Kim Jong Il Award, which was instituted in February 2012. He is known to have been arrested for connecting Jang뭩 allies with female actresses.

Ryu, a Moranbong Band singer, became the first in the band to be bestowed a meritorious entertainer title and a former colleague of Ri Sol Ju, the wife of the North Korean leader. Radio Free Asia reported that Ryu was purged because of her romantic relationship with Jang.

The concentration camp, called Susong Re-education Camp in North Korea, is a prison for "first-degree political criminals." It is said that actresses of Central Youth Arts Propaganda Troupe were sent to the same camp in the late 1990s for a major sex scandal involving Choe Ryong Hae, the current director of the Korean People`s Army General Political Bureau.

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