Like all details of the unusual goings on in North Korea, recent reports involving its leader Kim Jong Un should be taken semi-seriously. However, as several South Korean outlets have relayed, the North Korean dictator has apparently banned his subjects from having his name.
"The order was contained in a directive from 2011 that has only now been made public," the BBC noted. What does the directive entail? According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it means that not only are parents forbidden from naming their babies Kim Jong Un, but that people who already have the name are required to change their names and alter their birth certificates. From an excerpt of the document:
All party organs and public security authorities should make a list of residents named Kim Jong-un ... and train them to voluntarily change their names.
If this seems singularly manic, there may be a precedent for it in North Korea. According to The Guardian, while the South Korean government declined to verify the directive, "one government official noted that the Pyongyang regime was known to have banned citizens sharing the names of founding president Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il."
The New York Times managed to track down an anonymous South Korean official that appeared to confirm the rumors. “It’s true that in North Korea, they now allow only one Jong-un,” he told the paper.
Perhaps the worst part of all is that there is really no way for North Koreans to prepare for a similar directive in the future. Kim Jong Un was virtually unknown prior to 2011 when he became the heir-apparent to his father Kim Jong Il.