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Kim Jong Un reportedly wants his daughter to be the only person in North Korea named 'Ju Ae'
North Korean authorities are compelling girls and women with the same name as leader Kim Jong-un's daughter, Ju Ae, to change it to something else, per a Radio Free Asia report.
The report cited two anonymous sources from North Pyongan and South Pyongan provinces who said local government officials issued orders for women to change their birth certificates in the cities of Jeongju and Pyongsong.
One of the residents told Radio Free Asia that "the Ministry of Security in Jeongju City summoned women registered with the resident registration department under the name 'Ju Ae' to the Ministry of Safety to change their names." Officials said the name is now reserved for persons of "the highest dignity," per the unnamed resident.
Recent attention on Kim Ju Ae, the only one of Kim's children to be revealed to the public, "has led to speculation that she might be groomed to succeed her father," Insider wrote. Ju Ae, believed to be ten years old, made her public debut at an intercontinental ballistic missile launch late last year. She was also in attendance at a highly publicized state banquet, where she took photos with North Korea's top generals.
The name change directive follows what The Guardian calls "a tradition upheld by the reclusive state's ruling Kim dynasty." The year before assuming the role as the country's leader, Kim ordered those holding the name "Jong Un," to change their birth certificates legally.
"The directive was 'voluntary,'" Soo Kim, a former CIA analyst, told Insider, "but as we know, few things are voluntary in North Korea, especially when it comes to orders from the leadership." While "this most recent name ban is not anything out of the ordinary for North Korea," Kim says it's early to determine if Kim's daughter is being groomed for leadership. Still, she added that the recent public appearance shows that he wants his child to be seen.