Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday that Kim Jong Eun Mother’s tombstone was carved under the name ‘Koh Yong Hui’.
The Shimbun reported citing an NGO (RENK), “There is an image of Koh Yong Hui carved on the front of the gravestone. On the back is her date of birth (June 26th 1926), the date she passed away (May 24th 2004) and the words: ‘mother of military first Chosun, Koh Yong Hui’. The account continued, “Koh Yong Hui was re-buried on her 60th birthday anniversary near the ‘revolutionary patriot-reung’ in Northeast Pyongyang.”
According to Daily NK’s Tokyo correspondent, Koh Yong Hui’s name first appeared in Rodong Shinmun on December 29th of 1972. The newspaper at that time published an article under the title, ‘The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea awards artists the title ‘distinguished actor’ and Koh Yong Hui is eighth in the list. Because it is a known fact that Koh Young Hui was an active member of the Mansudae Art Troupe, experts were able to confirm her name as it was registered with the group.
Rodong Shinmun in the following year published an article on Koh Kyung Taek, the father of Koh Young Hui. The article described how his life after repatriating to North Korea had greatly improved compared to the years he spent in Japan, and mentioned that his daughter received the title ‘distinguished actor.’
Following this, in an article published in the March 1973 issue of the Chosun Hwabo, Koh Kyung Taek boasted, ‘My daughter received the title distinguished actress.’
Moreover, in the 1973 article, Koh Kyung Taek also said of his daughter, “Yong Ja (Koh Young Hui’s Japanese name), in the arms of our father Suryeong, is an active state performer now, after graduating from the Music and Dance College with a full scholarship.”
Koh Young Hui, who is ethnically Korean but born in Japan, and therefore vulnerable to stigma in North Korean society, has changed her name several times to hide her origin after she became Kim Jong Il’s wife.
Daily NK’s Tokyo correspondent reported that Koh Young Hui’s name at birth was ‘Koh Hui Hun’ and her Japanese name was ‘Takada Hime.’ After returning to North Korea with her father she changed her name from ‘Koh Young Ja’ to ‘Koh Young Hui,’ after the word ‘Ja’ was banned from use in North Korean women’s names, due to its association with a Japanese style of writing names.