North Korea Wants Their Children’s Names to Sound Patriotic Like ‘Bomb’ and ‘Gun’

5 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

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According to reports, the North Korean leadership is reprimanding parents who don't name their children "patriotic" names like "Bomb," "Gun," and "Satellite."

Citizens have been instructed to change their names to conform to the “theme” as Kim Jong Un tries to become North Korea the most potent nuclear nation in the world. Authorities have reportedly requested both adults and children to alter their names if they believe them to be too simple or delicate. Baby names that are considered “revolutionary” enough, such as those that signify “loyalty,” “bomb,” or “gun,” are to be given.

Pyongyang has moved quickly to change “anti-socialist” names, returning to former practises, albeit the motivation behind this is still unknown. People with softer names like A Ri (loved one), So Ra (conch shell), and Su Mi (great beauty), according to a report by Radio Free Asia (RFA) citing insider sources, are being pushed to adopt more ideological ones.

North Koreans have previously been urged to name their infants Chung Sim (loyalty), Chong Il (gun), Pok Il (bomb), or Ui Song (satellite).

It doesn’t seem like the transition is a choice or optional. Reports state that notices requesting the correction of all names lacking final consonants have been continuously distributed at local meetings since October. The RFA cited an unidentified source to add that those whose names lack a final consonant had till the end of the year to give their names political connotations in order to adhere to revolutionary norms.

Authorities have threatened to punish anyone who does not use names with political connotations, thus penalties are also likely in the event of non-compliance.

Using a combination of South Korean, Chinese, and Japanese names rather than the more conventional North Korean ones, the nation has recently opened up to the outside world. However, officials have cracked down on naming trends that are “a replica of the decadent Western Yankee culture” since tensions between North Korea and the West continue to be high.

In the meantime, Kim Jong Un has also requested a significant political gathering before the end of the year, when he is anticipated to discuss his tight ties with Seoul and Washington over the growth of his nuclear and missile programmes.

Several intercontinental ballistic missiles launches with a potential range to reach the US mainland as well as an intermediate-range missile flown over Japan were among the dozens of North Korean missile tests carried out this year.

In retaliation for the extension of the partners’ joint military exercises, which North Korea claims are drills for an impending invasion, it also carried out a flurry of short-range launches that it characterised as nuclear simulations against US and South Korean targets. Threats of nuclear war with Washington and Seoul have been punctuated by North Korea’s nuclear tests, communicating an escalating nuclear policy.