North Korea bans laughter and alcohol for 11 days

Government authorities have banned anything that refers to an expression of joy or happiness

imagew 74 bans, NORTH KOREA, MOURNING

Government bans anything expressing joy or happiness during mourning period - December 17, the day of Kim Jong Il's death, is banned from attending even grocery stores

A 11-day period of mourning has begun for North Koreans, with government authorities banning them from laughing or drinking for 11 days to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il.

Authorities have instructed the public not to show any sign of joy or happiness as long as the country honors his memory. Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011 and was succeeded by his third and youngest son, current leader Kim Jong Un.

Now, ten years after his death, North Koreans are forced to observe a period of mourning. "During this period, we should not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities," a resident of the northeastern border town of Sinuiji told Radio Free Asia.

The same source added that citizens are not allowed to go shopping even at the grocery store on December 17, the anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death. "In the past, many citizens caught drinking or intoxicated during mourning have been arrested and treated as ideological criminals. They took them and we never saw them again. Even if a member of your family dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body cannot be removed until it is finished. "People can not even celebrate their birthdays if they coincide at this time," he said.

Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011 at the age of 69, after 17 years of violent and oppressive rule in the country. Although each year the mourning period lasts 10 days, this year it will be extended by one day, to underline the tenth anniversary of his death.

The police have taken over the measures

Another source, who lives in the northwestern province of North Korea, said that the police have been instructed to take care of the citizens who insult the citizens with their behavior during the period of mourning. The situation has also caused problems for the police, who, in order to fulfill their duty, do not even manage to sleep many times.

During the period of mourning, groups of citizens or state-owned companies were ordered to take care of those in poverty, as the country is facing a food crisis. Companies are therefore responsible for collecting food and giving it to residents or employees who are unable to come to work due to lack of food.

According to the source, the mourning for Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung's father affects the daily life of the residents, while he hopes that the period of mourning will be shortened to a week, as the citizens are protesting.

Photography exhibitions and concerts

However, the authorities have grandiose plans for the period of mourning. In many provinces, photo exhibitions and concerts are held to honor his memory.

"The veterans' lecture and propaganda team, consisting of retired soldiers aged 50-60, visits every factory, company and neighborhood monitoring unit to educate people about Kim Jong Il's hard work," a third source told RFA.