There's only one Kim Jong-un

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 03 December 2014 13:00

North Korea's government has ordered any of its citizens who share their name with supreme leader Kim Jong-un to change it, according to sources in Seoul.

KBS TV, a state-run television station in South Korea, says it has obtained an "internal state document" from Pyongyang which shows that in the year before Kim succeeded his father, a decree was issued asking citizens to "voluntarily" change their name.

According to Reuters, the decree forbids any newborn children to be named after the leader and also tells those who already have the name that it must not be used on any official documents or registrations.

Although Yonhap, a South Korean news agency, reports the story, London-based Reuters says that South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles ties with the North, could not immediately confirm the report but did admit it was "plausible".

If the move is true, it would uphold a tradition in the totalitarian state that creates a cult of personality around its leaders. Kim's father Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung both had a similar decree which banned people copying their name.

More: There's something very wrong with this photo of Kim Jong-un

More: He's back! But what has Kim Jong-un been up to?