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N Korea bans people from taking up Jong-un’s name

world Updated: Dec 04, 2014 01:54 IST
Kim Jong-un

A year before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un came to power, a directive was issued for anyone sharing his name to change it — maintaining a tradition upheld by the reclusive state’s ruling Kim dynasty, a report said.

An internal state document obtained by South Korea’s KBS TV station contains an “administrative order” from then leader Kim Jong-il for all party, army and police officials to ensure the directive was carried out. The order was issued in January 2011, shortly after Kim Jong-un had been anointed as his father’s successor. Kim Jong-il died in December of the same year.

“All party organs and public security authorities should make a list of residents named Kim Jong-un … and train them to voluntarily change their names,” said the document, extracts of which were aired by KBS on Tuesday.

The authenticity of the official directive could not be independently verified.But one government official noted that the Pyongyang regime was known to have banned citizens sharing the names of founding president Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il. Park Jin-hee, a North Korean defector working for KBS who obtained the document, said she was sure the 2011 directive had been effectively enforced.

“There is no one in the North named Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, and there is no doubt the same rule applies for Jong-un,” Park said.

In another development, the young dictator has a new conspiracy theory: Washington invented Ebola.

The idea emerged in an editorial of the Pyongyang Times on Monday. “Fears are rising after suspicions were aroused that the virus was made and spread by the US,” the introduction screamed.