No time to laugh.
North Koreans were banned from drinking and laughing on the death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-Ill.
Citizens of the country were forced to follow the strict rules as part of an 11-day mourning period starting today.
The news was confirmed by Radio Free Asia.
RFA (Radio Free Asia) reported that residents of North Korea have been told to avoid drinking alcohol, shopping, and laughing during the 11-day mourning period.
Kim was the second supreme leader of North Korea. They led the country from 1994 to 2011.
During an interview with RFA, a North Korean, who was reportedly from the north-eastern border city of Sinuiju, said:
During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities. 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. 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.
The North Korean said that activities such as grocery shopping, playing cards or even laughing are banned on the anniversary day itself.
Another source, who is from the Western Province of South Hwanghae, revealed that he police were warned in advance to look out for people that would not grieve on the death anniversary.
The North Korean said:
From the first day of December, they will have a special duty to crack down on those who harm the mood of collective mourning. It’s a month-long special duty for the police. I heard that law enforcement officials cannot sleep at all.
It is likely that anyone who refuses to obey the rules in the country would be severely punished by the authorities.
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