North Korea bans citizens from laughing, drinking and shopping for 11 days – Here’s why

North Korea has imposed a ban on its citizens barring them from laughing, drinking and grocery shopping for the next 11 days starting Friday to mark the tenth anniversary of former leader Kim Jong Il’s death.

According to reports, the government authorities have ordered the public to not show any signs of happiness while North Korea commemorates his death.

“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a North Korean from the northeastern border city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

Any infringement of the ban during the mourning period will result in significant consequences. The offenders will be arrested, as happens every year, according to a resident.

“In the past, many people who were caught drinking or intoxicated during the mourning period were jailed and treated as ideological criminals,” an anonymous resident explained. Adding, “They were never seen again.”

Kim Jong Il, who died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011 at the age of 69, ruled North Korea for 17 years in a brutal and repressive dictatorship and was then succeeded by his third and youngest son, current leader Kim Jong Un.

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