UN now calls Kim Jong-un ‘president’ at North Korea’s request

Seoul, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The United Nations has begun to call North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “president” at the request of the North Korean government, a spokeswoman for the South Korean Unification Ministry told EFE on Thursday.

UN documents already reflect Kim’s position as “president,” rather than with the term “chairman” used until recently, the spokeswoman explained.

Seoul believes the change is the result of a request made by North Korea to the UN.

The change has been detected after last week the state propaganda media changed the terminology to refer to the leader in their English translations.

State media such as the KCNA news agency have been describing Kim in English as “president of the State Affairs” rather than “chairman of the State Affairs Commission” since last week.

The change appears to reflect North Korea’s desire that the international community begin to refer to Kim Jong-un using the term “president” – much more widely accepted in English to refer to a head of state – rather than “chairman.”

Some experts believe it could also respond to Pyongyang’s desire to project an image of a “normal state.”

In Korean, the state propaganda has not made any changes and continues to refer to Kim as “chongbiseo” — secretary general — of the Workers Party and as “uiweonjang” — whose closest English translation is “chairman” — of the Commission of State affairs.

They have yet to use the term “juseok,” used by the country’s founder Kim Il-sung (Kim Jong-un’s grandfather) and translated as “president,” nor have they used the term “daetongryeong,” used in South Korea to describe a head of state, including current President Moon Jae-in. EFE-EPA


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