North Koreans banned from laughing for ten days to mark Kim Jong-il's death
'They were taken away and never seen again'
In honour of the 10th anniversary since their former leader Kim Jong-il's death, North Koreans have been banned from drinking and laughing.
During the 11-day mourning period, residents must refrain from drinking alcohol, shopping, and even laughing, reports Radio Free Asia (RFA).
North Korea usually enforces a 10-day mourning period, but since this is the 10-year anniversary, they have instigated an extra 24 hours.
"During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities," a North Korean resident told RFA.
They added that grocery shopping is even banned on the anniversary itself.
They continued: "In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals.
"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."
Another North Korean resident from the western province of South Hwanghae said that police had been urged to keep an eye out for people not grieving.
"From the first day of December, they will have a special duty to crack down on those who harm the mood of collective mourning," they said.
"It's a month-long special duty for the police. I heard that law enforcement officials cannot sleep at all."
Kim Jong-il was the second supreme leader of North Korea, serving from 1994 to 2011 when he passed away aged 70. He was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un who still reigns today.
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