Idolization in Naming Twins

[imText1]Entering the late 1990s, the government of North Korea pursued birth policy that encouraged increase of birth to children. This was due to the mass loss of population during the food crisis. With the sudden decrease of population caused drop of labor force, and for Kim Jong Il who has been pursuing the “Military First Politics,” decrease of population made difficult to secure number of soldiers. For this reason, giving birth is encouraged.

When someone gives birth to twins (or more), it is reported in the Nodong Shinmun and congratulated. The North Korean regime functions around the Commander’s military first ideology. For this reason, the twins are named intently to fit the ideology. After the late 1990s, there are more and more babies with strange names.

Suh Wol Hyang, who has been recently reported for giving birth to her ninth baby named her newborn daughter “Revolution.” Her older brothers’ names are Kyulchul, Sachul (literally signify “determined to death”) Ongbum, Wichul (means respectively guarding and protecting for Kim Jong Il) and sisters’ names are Sungun (military first), Chongbyul, Pokbyul, and Tanbyul. (Chong-Pok-Tan means gun-bomb-explosive and byul means star). Altogether their names make a slogan, “For the military first politics, becomes the gun, bomb, and explosive for guarding and protecting Kim Jong Il.”

With the name, it is no difficult to guess whether they were born prior or after the start of the military first politics. Especially the triplets and quadruplets born in Pyongyang Sanwon (hospital to give birth) are named strange.

Idolization seems obvious in the naming of the babies.

The Korean Central News Agency on August 25 reported, “The babies born in Pyongyang Sanwon on April 16 were named “So Baek Su” (name of the pond located in front of the house known as where Kim Jong Il was born) means to grow up as a military first leader to serve the father Commander (Kim Jong Il) with a heart so clear and pure as clean water. First son was named Lim Son Baek, second son Lim Baek Du, and third, a daughter, Lim Su Byul.”

The quadruplet born in 1984 were named Ilsunee, Pyunsunee, Daenee and Shimsunee, taking each character of “Il Pyun Dan Shim” (One Hearted). Another quadruplet was named after “Sun Gun Young Do” (leadership for the military first policy) as Kim Sun Ok, Kim Gun Ok, and Kim Youngdo. There are numerous triplets named after “gun-bomb-explosive,” ‘Il Dang Baek(a match for a hundred),’ ‘Bodyguards,’ ‘Fidelity,’ ‘Worker’s Party’ and other words.

The trends for naming not only follow the trend of idolization of Kim Jong Il but also of the slogans for the Kim Jong Il regime. The quadruplet born in December 5, 1993 in Sukchon-gun, South Pyongan province were named as Baek Cho Sung, Baek Kuk Sung, Baek Bo Sung, and Baek Wi Sung, which the four middle syllabus make ‘祖國保衛(defend the fatherland)’.

The triplet born in January 23, 2000 in Jungans-ri, Onsung-gun, North Hamkyung province were named after “Kang-Sung-Dae-Kuk” (Strong Great Nation) as Choi Kang Kuk, Choi Sung Kuk, and Choi Dae Kuk. In the same, another triplet was named as Jung Kang Shim, Jung Sung Shim, and Jung Dae Kuk.

Twins Born in Pyongyang Sanwon Named by the Party

The problem is that regardless of the parents’ desire, all the twins born in Pyongynag Sanwon(maternity hospital) are named by the Paty. For example, the Party Committee suggests “let’s name the twins “fidelity” and the parents are obliged to accept the suggestion. Giving birth to twins is dangerous in general, thus they are born in Pyongynag Sanwon, and the party committee name them idolizing Kim Jong Il to please him.

Defector Kim Young Hee (psedunym), a former Pyongyang resident testified, “The Party Committee name the children born in Pyongyang Sanwon saying that they were born under grace of the Party thus name them themselves. Since the parents fee strange calling their children such weird names, they call them differently at home, usually calling them only by last syllables.”

In North Korea too, the belief prevails that the name of a child influences his destiny, so usually naming is a careful process which undertakes overnight family discussion between the parents and grandparents.

Following the old tradition, many name their children in rhyme, and for the daughters, they use characters such as “Jung” (righteous) or Sun (honest) to encourage them to live righteous and honest life.

In the 1970s, the state ordered all those names same or similar to Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Ill to be changed. Also characters such as “Ja(資)” was prohibited to be used for it was said the character implicates remnants of capitalism and “Mi(美)” (Mi Kuk means the United States) was not to be used for it signified America.

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