North Koreans Banned from LAUGHING for 11 Days to Mark Kim Jong Il's 10th Death Anniversary

In yet another bizarre policy, the North Korean government has imposed a ban on laughing or drinking in the country for 11 days to mark the 10th death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong II. Earlier this year, the North Korean government had banned citizens from donning leather trench coats in public after the supreme leader Kim Jong Un was photographed wearing one. Not only this, but the government had even directed the north Korean citizens to 'eat less' in order to tackle the food shortage in the country.

In the recent order, the authorities have directed the North Korean citizens to refrain from showing any 'signs of happiness' for 11 days while the country commemorates Kim Jong II's death. To mark Kim Jong II's tenth death anniversary, North Koreans are ordered to observe an 11-day-long period of mourning, during which, they are not allowed to laugh or drink alcohol.

Kim Jong II ruled North Korea from 1994 until he died in 2011. He was succeeded by his third and youngest son, current leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Il succumbed to a heart attack on December 17, 2011, at the age of 69.

Kim Jong Un
North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Twitter

'North Koreans are not allowed to go grocery shopping'

According to DailyMail, a resident from the border city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that they 'must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities' during the mourning period. The source also added that North Koreans are not even allowed to go grocery shopping on December 17, the day of Kim Jong II's death.

The source further informed that in the past, people who were caught laughing or drinking during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals. "They were taken away and never seen again." The source also added that even if a family member dies during the mourning period, the 'family is 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."

Police officers are told to make sure people sure people look 'appropriately upset'

The mourning period held every year for Kim Jong II is 10 days, but this year it is observed for 11 days. An anonymous resident of the southwestern province of South Hwanghae told RFA that the mourning period is affecting North Korean's daily lives and that they wished it could be shortened to a week.

The source noted that police officers are put on duty to keep an eye on people who fail to look 'appropriately upset' during the mourning period. The officers on said duty cannot sleep at all. "From the first day of December, they will have a special duty to crack down on those who harm the mood of collective mourning," the source said.

Food shortages

The source then informed that citizens groups and state-owned companies are directed to take care of those struggling with food shortages during the mourning period. "Companies are responsible for collecting food to give to residents and employees who cannot come to work due to food shortages."

To celebrate the life of Kim Jong II, various provinces across the country are holding exhibitions of his photography and concerts in his memory.

This article was first published on December 16, 2021