[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: 

http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/event/nkorea_nuclear/general_05.htm

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

http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200606/kt2006061617473010510.htm
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article1095836.ece


cheers
Aidan FC

AIDAN FOSTER-CARTER
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

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