North Koreans have been banned from laughing for 11 days as the totalitarian country commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Un’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il.
“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service.
Even grocery shopping is banned on the exact day of the elder Kim’s death — December 17.
“In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals. They were taken away and never seen again,” the source told RFA.
“Even if your family member dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body must be taken out after it’s over. People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period.”
North Koreans banned from laughing as country mourns Kim Jong Il’s deathNorth Koreans banned from laughing as country mourns Kim Jong Il’s death