Citizens of North Korea have been banned from laughing for 10 days to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of former Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.
December 17, marks the 10th anniversary of his death.
The ban on laughing is among several restrictions imposed on North Koreans to mark the occasion. North Koreans have been banned from drinking alcohol, laughing, shopping for groceries, or engaging in leisure activities, a resident of the border city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia.
Any violation of the ban during the 10-day mourning period will invite serious consequences, the citizen said.
“In the past, many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals,” the unnamed citizen said. “They were taken away and never seen again.” During the mourning period, no one will be allowed to carry out even funeral rites or services or celebrate birthdays.
However, another source claimed that the police imposed a similar mandate at the beginning of the month to ensure an “appropriate mood” for the mourning period.
North Korea has planned several events to commemorate Kim Jong Il’s life. These include a public display of his photography and art, a concert, and an exhibition of the ‘Kimjongilia’, a flower named after him.