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Treacherous Acts of Naming By The South Korean Puppets

As often as I can, I check the DPRK’s Korean Central News Service for a bit of news from the other side. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to learn about things like the “disgusting farce” of the “traitorous acts” reported today:

Pyongyang, April 22 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issued a statement on Friday to denounce the pro-U.S. ultra-right organizations in south Korea for staging such a ridiculous farce as giving bosses of the U.S. ruling machines in south Korea including the U.S. ambassador Korean names. The south Korea-U.S. “Alliance Friendship Society” in March named U.S. Ambassador in Seoul Vershbow “Pak Po U” in the hope that he would be an eternal friend who regards south-Korea U.S. alliance as a jewel.

The former U.S. 8th army commander in south Korea who finished his service on April 11 was named “Kim Han Su” in the hope that he would always defend “south Korea-U.S. alliance”, the U.S. 7th air force commander “Kim Ung Bi” in the meaning that he is a hero flying in the sky, Laporte, U.S. forces commander in south Korea who went back home in February, “Ra Po Thae” in the hope that he would play a role of a jewel in the south Korea-U.S. alliance.

The statement noted that this disgusting farce cannot be construed otherwise than despicable rowdyism staged by pro-U.S. flunkeyists and mentally deranged guys keen to prolong their dirty remaining days by clinging to the coattails of the aggressors, utterly indifferent to the misfortune the Koreans have undergone. Such traitorous acts to serve the U.S. will bring nothing but a catastrophic war disaster to the Korean nation, the statement notes, warning that south Korea can never be safe nor the Korean nation live in peace as long as pro-U.S. traitorous group such as the GNP and the “friendship society” are at large.

Here are two articles from South Korea on the naming. Seriously, though, I think giving Vershbow a name with “treasure friend” (寶友) isn’t all that strange, but I have to say it does near the realm of the farcical when you give someone the name close to being “protector of Korea” (“korea protect” 韓守). Also, according to the Joongang Daily, General Campbell seems to be under the impression that they named him the protector of Korean freedom: “What a tremendous honor to have the Korean name that means great defender of freedom on the Korean Peninsula.” If you wanted to squeeze the name for all its worth, the most you could get was that he was the protector of Korean gold or metal (金).

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Joel | 2006.4.25 at 5:26 | Permalink

    Heh. What’s your Chinese (or Korean) name? When I set off for a year teaching in Guangdong, a Taiwanese friend rendered my name as 柏徳孝。Well, the PRC wasn’t having any truck with such Confucian nonsense, and the school I taught at chose to render my name as a relatively meaningless 柏来沙, although they kept the culturally safer names my Taiwanese friend chose for my wife, 河雪梅, and daughter 柏麗/丽秋 (born in September).

  2. Muninn | 2006.4.25 at 13:44 | Permalink

    Thanks for posting that Joel, I’m sorry your school robbed your name of its virtue and filiality.

    My own name is 林蜀道. How I got the name is a bit of a long story but I like it since few Chinese seem to forget the easy to remember “Shudao” part of it, which comes from a poem by 李白. The poem is about the difficulty of climbing the mountain roads of Sichuan and is known as 蜀道難. I love some of the beautiful natural images of the poem. Most Chinese I have met seem to know the first few lines of the poem, perhaps they learn it in school. Ironically, though, I have yet to enjoy the experience of hiking in Sichuan for myself – something I very much look forward to.

    Actually, I also have a funny story about the name. When I did some part time faculty technical support work at Columbia University while a masters student there, I ended up spending a lot of time working on computers in the language departments. On one occasion I was sent in to fix a minor printer problem of some kind in one of the offices of the Chinese language instructors, who knew me already as Shudao. I ended up making the printer problem a lot worse than when I found it. Apparently (I heard from a friend) they then started calling me 蜀道難 but instead of the 難 (nán = difficult) of the poem (“the roads of Shu are difficult”), they used the fourth tone (nàn) for the character (“Shudao is a disaster”).

  3. Joel | 2006.4.25 at 16:17 | Permalink

    A disaster indeed.

    My daughter spent her ‘terrible twos’ in the strict control of a Chinese preschool (and in somewhat inarticulate culture shock), where her mostly 3-year-old classmates would greet her like a celebrity every morning with “秋秋来了!” She would rarely smile all day, until I picked her up in the afternoon. That and the little old ladies of Guangdong who couldn’t resist pinching her cheeks made it a bit of a traumatic year for her. People in the north were much more restrained in that regard.