Court Bars Change of English Name in Passport

      November 04, 2015 09:51

      A court on Monday rejected a request from a woman to change the Romanization of her Korean name in her passport, saying the spelling was unlikely to ever be a perfect match for the Hangeul.

      The Seoul Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the woman against the Foreign Ministry.

      The woman received a passport in 2000 that printed the middle part of her name as "Jung" in English. She asked the ministry to change it to "Jeong" when she applied for a new passport last year.

      Her rationale was that "Jeong" is based on the government's Romanization guidelines and that she had used "Jeong" in and outside Korea since she was young.

      The ministry turned her application down and she sued.

      The court reasoned that lowering the barriers for changing the English spelling could harm the credibility of Korean passports, allowing, for example, people with convictions to fly under the radar of overseas databases.

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