HUFFINGTON POST
12/03/2014 01:10 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2014

No One In North Korea Is Allowed To Share Kim Jong Un's Name

In North Korea, no one can have the same name as supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

According to reports, North Korea previously banned anyone from sharing the name Jong Un. Newborns cannot be given the name, and citizens who bore it before the ban were required to assume new names.

South Korean media outlets including KBS and Yonhap News Agency said the name ban was contained in a directive from 2011 which was issued months before Kim Jong Un came to power and was only recently leaked outside North Korea.

The leaked document said that “all party organs and public security authorities” should identify residents who shared the supreme leader's name and "train them to voluntarily change [it],” per The Guardian.

People named Jong Un -- said to be a common Korean name for both men and women -- apparently were directed to change their names on official documents such as birth certificates, social security cards and school diplomas.

According to the BBC, it was likely that there was “little forewarning” of the name ban, since Kim Jong Un -- the youngest son of predecessor Kim Jong Il -- had been relatively unknown to the general public prior to his ascension to head of state.

A South Korean government official this week confirmed the authenticity of the directive, reports The New York Times.

“It’s true that in North Korea, they now allow only one [Jong Un],” the official, who was unnamed, told the paper.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the Pyongyang regime issued a similar name ban when Kim Jong Il was in power and when his father, North Korea's founding leader Kim Il Sung, was as well.

CONVERSATIONS