The North Korean government placed its citizens under an 11-day laughing ban to honor the death of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s father, former Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il.
According to a Sinuiju city resident, North Koreans cannot drink alcohol, “laugh, or engage in leisure activities” during the mourning period, which started on December 17.
“In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals,” the resident said. “They were taken away and never seen again.”
“Even if your family member dies during the mourning period, you are 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,” the resident added.
North Koreans were also banned from grocery shopping starting December 17, the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death.
Another unnamed resident said law enforcement officials are ordered to “crack down” on rulebreakers.
“It’s a month-long special duty for the police. I heard that law enforcement officials cannot sleep at all,” the resident said.