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North Korea Banned Its People From Laughing, Drinking And Shopping: Here’s Why

North Korea Banned Its People From Laughing, Drinking And Shopping: Here’s Why

Kim Jong-il ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death on December 17, 2011.

Fernando Fong

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North Korean citizens are banned from laughing, drinking and shopping starting from Friday.

The ban is part of 11-day mourning to remember the 10th anniversary of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong Un.

The Telegraph quoted Radio Free Asia as saying that, according to a North Korean from the northeastern border city of Sinuiju, North Koreans are not allowed to drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities during the mourning period.

Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the source added that if anyone’s family passed away during the mourning period, they are forbidden to cry out loud and the body must be taken out once the mourning period has ended.

People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period.

A North Korean who spoke on a condition of anonymity to Radio Free Asia

The source added that in the past, many people were arrested for drinking or being drunk during the mourning period.

Accordingly, they were arrested and dealt with as if they were ideological criminals.

A Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldier stands at the entrance to a ‘Kimjongilia’ flower exhibition celebrating the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang on February 14, 2019. (Credit: AFP)

After the ban was reported, it triggered heated discussion among netizens.

Some said that it was really too difficult for North Koreans, while others are of the opinion that these are the laws of other countries and there is nothing wrong with mourning former leaders.

Remembering A Dictator

Kim Jong-il ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death on 17 December 2011.

He took over the Kim family dynasty from his father and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung.

Then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, and his son and now leader, Kim Jong Un, attend a military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea, October 10, 2010. (Credit: 2010 Kyodo News via AP)

According to the Associated Press, a siren blared for three minutes at midday on Friday and North Koreans fell silent and bowed in respect for Kim Jong-il.

National flags were lowered to half-staff as North Koreans gathered in a large crowd at Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill.

They paid respect to Kim Jong-il by laying flowers and bowing before giant statues of him and his father.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gathered with hundreds of officials at a ceremony outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.

The embalmed bodies of his father and grandfather are kept there under the glass.

Newspapers, which are controlled by the North Korean government – also published articles that lavished praise on Kim Jong-il.

The Malaysian Connection

Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who was killed in Malaysia in 2017. (Credit: Reuters)

Many Malaysians got acquainted with the Kim dynasty when Kim Jong-il’s eldest son Kim Jong-nam was killed at KLIA2 in February 2017.

Kim Jong-nam was a one-time heir to the North Korean leadership but had since fallen out of favour with his powerful family. 

After his death, it was reported that he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy.

READ MORE: Kim Jong Un’s half-brother murdered in Malaysia was a CIA spy!

Two women were charged with poisoning Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon.

Malaysia released Doan Thi Huong, who is Vietnamese, in May, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah in March 2019.

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