North Koreans have been banned from laughing for 11 days as the totalitarian country commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Un’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il.
“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service.
Even grocery shopping is banned on the exact day of the elder Kim’s death — 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. They were taken away and never seen again,” the source told RFA.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the slimmed-down despot dusted off his trendy black leather trench coat Friday to wear again as he stood beneath a large red banner emblazoned with an image of his dad, who died in 2011.
North Koreans then fell silent and bowed in respect for Kim Jong Il as a midday siren blared for three minutes.
Cars, trains and ships blew their horns, the Hermit Kingdom’s flags were lowered to half-staff and people flocked to Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill to lay flowers and bow before giant statues of Kim Jong Il and his father, Kim Il Sung, who ruled for 46 years.
Kim Jong Un was also shown with hundreds of officials at a ceremony outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in the capital, Pyongyang.
North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae called Kim Jong Il, who ruled for 17 years, “the parent of our people” who built up the potentials for the country’s military and economic might.
The rogue regime’s growing nuclear arsenal is the core of Kim’s 10-year rule — and he’s described it as “a powerful treasured sword” that thwarts potential aggressions by the US.
North Korea has performed 62 rounds of ballistic missile tests, which are banned by several UN Security Council resolutions, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.
The number is compared to an estimated nine rounds of tests during Kim Il Sung’s rule and 22 rounds during Kim Jong Il’s time in power. Four of six nuclear tests and three intercontinental ballistic missile launches all occurred under Kim Jong Un’s rule.
On Friday, multiple newspapers — all tightly controlled by the government — published articles praising Kim Jong Il.
“He is, indeed, the greatest man and the great sage of the revolution all the people on this land follow with their deep affection and sincerity,” the ruling party’s Rodong Sinmun paper said in a piece.
Meanwhile, Kim has reportedly banned citizens from copying his fashion choices by wearing leather coats.
RFA has reported that actual fashion police have patrolled the streets to confiscate the jackets from sellers and any citizens wearing any knock-offs.
With Post wires