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Woman regained real name after 56 years living in name of husband’s ex-wife

Woman regained real name after 56 years living in name of husband’s ex-wife

Posted December. 29, 2014 07:42,   


“I came here to reclaim my name.”

Kim Soon-sim (assumed name, aged 89) visited a community center in Seoul in November 2012. She applied to re-register the resident registration number under her name, which was used by "Kim Mak-soon" who died six years ago. Kim wanted to reclaim her resident registration number that the late Kim had used.

There was a behind story. Kim got married her husband in 1958 for the second time. Her husband asked Kim to live under the name of his former wife, who passed away, so that his children would not be teased for being raised by a stepmother. Kim was hesitant to accept the request, living under the dead woman’s name, but she thought her husband’s heart for his children was adorable and had lived under someone’s name for 56 years. Kim gave her real name to a North Korean defector living in the same village, who had no resident registration number.

Recently, Kim came to know that the North Korean woman who used her real name died in 2006 and her resident registration number expired. Kim visited a nearby community center to reclaim her ‘real name’ before she dies, but the local administration agency denied her request for a reason that “her fingerprints are different from those of the former owner who registered the name of ‘Kim Mak-soon.’”

Seoul High Court (Chief Judge Choi Kyu-hong) said on Sunday that the court ruled in favor of Kim in the appellate trial of Kim versus the community center, following the suit of the first trial. The court said, “In this case, the third person stole Kim’s resident registration number and registered the person’s fingerprints under Kim’s number. Community Center must newly register fingerprints of Kim and issue a resident ID card for her.”