NEWS: North Korea
North Korea bans drinking and laughing on the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong-Il’s death.

As North Korea marks the 10th anniver­sary of the death of for­mer leader Kim Jong-il today (Decem­ber 17), cit­i­zens will be forced to fol­low strict rules amid a peri­od of mourn­ing of 11 days.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports that res­i­dents should refrain from drink­ing alco­hol, shop­ping and even laugh­ing dur­ing the period.

Kim Jong-il was North Kore­a’s sec­ond supreme leader from 1994 to 2011, when he passed away at the age of 70 and was suc­ceed­ed by his youngest son Kim Jong-un.

Although the gov­ern­ment nor­mal­ly enforces a ten-day mourn­ing peri­od, this year it has been extend­ed by an addi­tion­al 24 hours to mark the tenth anniver­sary of the for­mer lead­er’s death.

Speak­ing to RFA, a North Kore­an from the north­east­ern bor­der town of Sinui­ju said, “Dur­ing the time of mourn­ing, we should not drink alco­hol, laugh or par­tic­i­pate in leisure activities.”

They explained that many activ­i­ties are not planned, espe­cial­ly on birth­day, when even gro­cery shop­ping is prohibited.

They explained: “In the past, many peo­ple caught drink­ing or being intox­i­cat­ed dur­ing the peri­od of mourn­ing were arrest­ed and treat­ed as ide­o­log­i­cal criminals.

“They were tak­en away and were nev­er seen again.

“Even if a mem­ber of your fam­i­ly dies dur­ing the mourn­ing peri­od, you are not allowed to scream out loud and the body must be removed when finished.

“Peo­ple can’t even cel­e­brate their own birth­day if it falls into the mourn­ing period.”

A sec­ond source — a res­i­dent of west­ern South Hwang­hae Province — revealed that police were warned in advance to be care­ful of peo­ple who did not appear to be in mourning.

They declared: “From the first day of Decem­ber, they will have a par­tic­u­lar duty to crack down on those who harm the atmos­phere of col­lec­tive mourning.

“This is a one-month spe­cial mis­sion for the police. I heard that the police can­not sleep at all.”

The pub­li­ca­tion went on to explain that state-owned enter­pris­es and cit­i­zens’ groups are respon­si­ble for car­ing for those who live in pover­ty and lack food.

The sec­ond source explained, “Social order and safe­ty must be guar­an­teed, so com­pa­nies are respon­si­ble for col­lect­ing food to give to res­i­dents and employ­ees who can­not come to work due to food shortages.”

They added that “res­i­dents should also work togeth­er to help the kot­je­bi,” which is a North Kore­an term for home­less children.

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