North Korea bans laughing, drinking and more from Friday

North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has banned its citizens from laughing, shopping and drinking from Friday 17 December onwards as part of an 11-day mourning period on the 10th anniversary of the passing of former leader, Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-il ruled the republic of North Korea from 1994 to his death in 2011 and died due to a heart attack at the age of 69 on December 17. He was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un.

According to Radio Free Asia, all leisure activities have been banned for the next 11 days. The mourning period is usually enforced for 10 days, but as it is the tenth anniversary of the North Korean ruler’s death, an extra day has been added.

“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,” Radio Free Asia quoted a resident of North Korea.

Every year since his father’s death, Kim pays respects at the memorial of his father. Kim Jong Un paid respects at a mausoleum where the embalmed body of Kim Jong Il lies in the state along with that of Kim Il Sung. Kim Jong Un also convened national meetings honouring his father during some previous milestone anniversaries such as the first and fifth ones.

The state media increases its coverage and ramps up the propaganda for the current leader of Nort Korea, Kim Jong-un, reports The Mint. “Great leader and comrade Kim Jong Il is always with us … and he is the eternal suryong’ and sun of juche (self-reliance)’ of our party and revolution,” the North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial, referring to a revered title reserved for North Korean leaders.

Without mentioning the current difficulties, the paper said that “We should make our every effort to bolster our single-minded unity … by standing united behind respected comrade Kim Jong Un.”

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Written by

Claire Gordon