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Pyongyang bans citizens from using ‘Ju Ae'

Posted February. 13, 2023 07:47,   

Updated February. 13, 2023 07:47


Circumstantial evidence suggests that North Korea has forced its residents with first name ‘Ju Ae’ to change their names. Kim Ju Ae, a daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was seen sitting at the center of the VIP section for Pyongyang’s leadership on the 75th-anniversary celebration of the North Korean military’s founding on February 8. She has appeared at major military-related events as many as five times since November last year, prompting watchers to suspect that Pyongyang has started the process to ‘inherit power’ to the fourth generation of the Kim family. Analysts say the ban on the use of the name Ju Ae in such a situation is a measure that reflects the elevated status of Kim Ju Ae, who is considered a potential successor of the ‘Baekdu (Kim) blood-line.’

“The security department at Jongju City gathered at the department women whose first name was registered as ‘Ju Ae’ in the citizens’ registry and ordered them to change their name,” Radio Free Asia reported by citing a source among residents in North Pyongan Province. The North reportedly banned already the use of first name ‘Jong Un,’ and the first names of his grandfather ‘(Il Sung), father (Jong Il), and wife (Ri) Sol Ju.’

Kim Ju Ae is also believed to be possessing her white horse. According to prerecorded footage of the military parade from Wednesday broadcast Thursday, Pyongyang called a white horse seen during the military inspection ‘Excellent Horse loved by his beloved child,’ which is one of the titles for Kim Ju Ae.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com