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N. Koreans banned from using leader's name

2014/12/03 09:22

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has ordered its people not to use the name "Kim Jong-un" in a bid to protect the supreme authority of the current leader, according to Pyongyang's official document confirmed Wednesday.

In January 2011, then leader Kim Jong-il issued a decree urging people with the same name to change it "voluntarily." As North Korea is regarded as a totalitarian state, it is unclear whether the decree was actually voluntary.

The North has also prohibited parents from registering their newborn babies with the current leader's name, according to the document titled "a task to achieve." The use of the given name "Jong-un" is also banned.

While unthinkable in most other countries, the rules are not new in the state long ruled by the Kim family.

For decades, people have not been allowed to use the names "Kim Il-sung" and "Kim Jong-il." Kim Il-sung was the founding leader of the country and is the grandfather of the sitting leader.

Kim Jong-un took power in December 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il.

North Korea maintains a personality cult surrounding the three Kims.