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What’s in a name? Ex-president’s confidante wants media to use her new name

Former President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Seo-won, better known as Choi Soon-sil, has officially requested that the Korean media stop using her old name, saying that doing so amounts to defamation. 

Choi Seo-won (Yonhap)
Choi Seo-won (Yonhap)

According to Choi’s lawyer on Wednesday, Choi sent letters to 93 media outlets in South Korea, asking that they use her new name when reporting about her. Choi reportedly changed her name from Soon-sil to Seo-won in February 2014.

Choi, who is in prison, faces an ongoing trial in relation to the corruption scandal that led to former President Park’s impeachment in 2017.

In the statement, Choi accused the media of using her old name to portray her as an old-fashioned ajumma, or middle-aged woman in Korean, who meddled in state affairs.

Referring to constitutional rights regarding her name and personality, Choi said in the statement that she has the right to control how she is labeled and that her opinion must be respected.

Choi warned she will take legal measures against media outlets that do not adhere to her request.

By Choi Ji-won (