FACT CHECK: Has Korean Been Named An Official UN Language?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims the United Nations (U.N.) has selected Korean as one of the organization’s official languages.

Verdict: False

The U.N. maintains six official languages, none of which are Korean. The organization has not announced Korean as a new official language.

Fact Check:

The U.N. is an intergovernmental body that mainly addresses international problems with input and help from all participating nations, according to its “about us” page. The organization has six official languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

A Facebook post from Jan. 29 claims the Korean language has become a “UN official language,” calling this “great news.” (RELATED: Did A UN Chief Recently Say They Were ‘Deeply Shocked’ By Conditions At Biden-Era Migrant Detention Facilities?)

The U.N. has not, however, added Korean to its list of official languages. No such announcement appears on the organization’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages. Check Your Fact also didn’t find any stories about the U.N. doing so on its official news page or in any major news outlets.

The General Assembly’s most recent adopted language was Arabic in 1983, according to the U.N.’s website. The organization’s Department of Global Communications created annual language days dedicated to each of the six official languages, with English being recognized on April 23, it explains.

The Korean language is spoken by over 77 million people, according to the South Korean Embassy to Norway. South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered a speech in the language at the 2021 U.N. General Assembly, as heard in footage that PBS NewsHour posted on YouTube.

Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim from March 2021 that alleged the U.N. would become a “world religion” to impose humanitarian-based laws.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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