South Korean baby born in North Korea, named Kyoreh (“one people”)

In late 2005, thousands of South Korean tourists traveled to North Korea to watch games and performances marking the 60th anniversary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.

The celebrations “were blatantly designed to tug at the heartstrings of South Koreans.”

One South Korean woman, Hwang Seon, went into labor while watching “child gymnasts tumbling in unison across the field of Kim Il Sung Stadium in a performance heralding the miracle of the North Korean economy.”

She was rushed to Pyongyang’s maternity hospital, where she delivered a baby girl on October 10. The baby was the first ever to be born in North Korea as a South Korean citizen.

Her birth was “hailed as a mystical sign that the half-century long division of the Korean peninsula is coming to an end.”

North Korea suggested the baby name Tongil, meaning “reunification.” But the parents thought that sounded like a boy name. Instead, they selected Kyoreh, meaning “one people.”

Source: Demick, Barbara. “‘Unification Baby’ Seen as Omen by N. Koreans.” Los Angeles Times 20 Nov. 2005.

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