[KS] 1. A very useful N Korea who's who on KBS; 2. Why do some NKs alter their names?

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Fri Jun 23 10:30:10 EDT 2006

Dear colleagues,

1. I just came across a very useful Who's Who of prominent North Koreans
on KBS's English website: 


This lists 73 members of the Pyongyang elite; mostly with photographs,
up-to-date biographical information, and brief but insightful commentary.

This is the best resource of its kind that I have found. Perhaps colleagues
would care to share any others they know of, be it in Korean or English?

(Though this calls itself an A to Z, it is actually from K to H - since it
follows Korean rather than western alphabetical order.)

2. Does anyone know why some North Koreans alter their names?
- albeit only slightly. For example, as KBS's lists confirm:

* Foreign minister Paek Nam Sun was at one time known
as Paek Nam Jun.

* Kwon Ho Ung, senior cabinet councilor and chief delegate 
to the inter-Korean ministerial talks, was first known as Kwon Min.

* Jon Kum Jin, Kwon's predecessor, formerly went by the name of 
Jon Kum Chol.

I can add another:

* Ri Jong Hyok, vice chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee
- in effect, in charge of relations with South Korea - was definitely
Ri Dong Hyok when I knew hin in the 1980s in Paris, where he headed
North Korea's quasi-embassy and Unesco delegation.

What is the point of this? The changes are so small that they hardly count
as a proper disguise - unlike Kim Song Ju, known to history by his nom de
guerre Kim Il Sung; or his grandson Kim Jong-chol, who reportedly
is attached to that same Paris office under the alias Kim Chol-song
- that is, when not skiving off to Eric Clapton gigs in Germany; see


Aidan FC

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK 
tel: +44(0)  1274  588586         (alt) +44(0) 1264 737634          mobile:  
+44(0)  7970  741307 
fax: +44(0)  1274  773663         ISDN:   +44(0)   1274 589280
Email: afostercarter at aol.com     (alt) afostercarter at yahoo.com      website: 
[Please use @aol; but if any problems, please try @yahoo too - and let me 
know, so I can chide AOL]

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://koreanstudies.com/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreanstudies.com/attachments/20060623/ea091109/attachment.html>

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list