The North Korean government demanded it and the UN has granted: from ‘chairman’ to ‘president’, a decision that will raise controversy.
The UN has begun to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “president” in English at the request of the North Korean government, a spokeswoman for the South Korean Unification Ministry confirmed to EFE on Thursday.
UN documents already reflect Kim’s position described in English as ‘president’, rather than with the term ‘chairman’ (which in Spanish can also be translated as president) used until recently, the spokeswoman explained.
Seoul believes that 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 both their English and Spanish translations.
In addition to as general secretary of the North Korean single party, since last week state media such as the KCNA news agency have been describing Kim in English as ‘president of the State Affairs’ instead of ‘chairman of the State Affairs Commission’.
In the Spanish version of the KCNA website, Kim Jong-un has gone from being ‘Chairman of the State Committee’ to becoming ‘Chairman of State Affairs’.
The change appears to reflect North Korea’s desire for the international community to start referring 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 that it could also respond to the Pyongyang regime’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.
In no case have they used 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 the current president, Moon Jae-in.