North Korea has imposed a ban on its citizens prohibiting them from laughing, shopping, drinking or showing any signs of happiness for 11 days to commemorate the 10th death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il.
Kim Jong-il ruled North Korea for 17 years – from 1994 to 2011. He died of a heart attack at the age of 69 on December 17, 2011. He was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un.
The practice is not new as such restrictions are imposed every year. Per local media reports, all leisure activities have been banned during the mourning period and anyone who disobeys the rule will be arrested like every year.
An anonymous North Korean citizen is quoted as saying: “many people who were caught drinking or drunk during the restriction were arrested and treated as ideological criminals, and were 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.”
Every year since his father’s death, Kim pays respects at the memorial of his father.
Kim Jong Un paid his respects at a tomb where Kim Jong Il’s embalmed body, together with that of Kim Il Sung, is on display.
This year, the mourning period has been extended to 11 days as this is the 10th death anniversary. Generally, a 10-day mourning period is observed every year.