North Korea Launches More Ballistic Missiles As Tensions Increase gfs_mizuta/ Pixabay

The North Korean government is now requiring its citizens with soft names to change them into something that sounds more ideological and patriotic. Last month, authorities have started to require this from parents and their children if their names are found to be not “revolutionary” enough.

According to Radio Free Asia, a resident of the northeastern province of North Hamgyong came forward on condition of anonymity to speak about the said ruling. The resident claimed that since October, notices have been constantly issued at their neighborhood-watch unit meetings ordering residents whose names do not have a final consonant to be corrected. Residents with such names were given until the end of the year to modify and add political meanings to their names.

“Residents are complaining that the authorities are forcing people to change their names according to the standards required by the state," the anonymous resident told the news outlet.

Officials said their supreme leader Kim Jong-un ordered parents to give their children names with a final consonant as those without one are believed to be anti-socialists. Anyone who fails to comply will face steep fines.

Examples of patriotic names instructed to be given to North Korean children include words that mean “bomb”, “satellite” and “gun” to replace names that sound too soft or simple. The order is relative to the government's intent of deflecting from trends in South Korea which North Korea strongly perceives as a “copy of the decadent Western Yankee culture”. Previously, citizens were allowed to use names that were more affectionate such as Su Mi meaning “super beauty”. Over the recent years, North Korea seemed to be more open to the outside world and started naming their children with softer vowels, similar to South Korean names.

Many parents are reportedly showing strong reluctance to this order as the issue keeps being raised during local meetings. Locals believe that the new rule was made to reflect the “current era of starvation and oppression, as they called out the tyranny of officials who force collectivism. Some have even managed to joke about taking old-fashioned names that somehow resemble names such as Yong Chol or Man Bok. These names, if translated into English, are similar to Eustace, Gladys and Mildred.

Representation Image Giant Bronze Statues of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung Pyongyang Alex_Berlin/ Pixabay

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