Why North Korea has banned laughing, drinking, shopping for 11 days

According to a resident, quoted by Radio Free Asia, all leisure activities have been banned for this mourning period, including drinking, grocery shopping etc. 
People come to pay their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong il to mark the 10th death anniversary of Kim Jong un's father, Kim Jong il.(AFP)
People come to pay their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong il to mark the 10th death anniversary of Kim Jong un's father, Kim Jong il.(AFP)
Published on Dec 17, 2021 11:05 AM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

North Korea has imposed a ban on laughing, drinking, grocery shopping as the country is entering a mourning period from Friday, marking the 10th death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il, who ruled the country from 1994 to 2011. He was succeeded by present leader Kim Jong Un. In a report, Radio Free Asia confirmed the ban, quoting a resident of Sinuiju, a border city of the country. According to the resident, all leisure activities have been banned for this period. Residents can't go grocery shopping, the report said. The offenders will be arrested as it happens every year, the resident said.

"In the past, many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals," the unnamed citizen said adding, "They were taken away and never seen again."

The mourning period will go on for 11 days this year as this is the 10th death anniversary. Generally, a 10-day mourning period is observed every year.

"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.

The crackdown this year has been going on since the beginning of December as the North Korean Police were preparing for the mourning period.

Kim Jong il died of a heart attack on December 17 in 2011 at the age of 69.

Every year since his father's death, Kim pays respects at the memorial of his father but this year the state media did not immediately report any public activities by Kim on Friday morning, news agency AP reported. “Great leader and comrade Kim Jong Il is always with us ... and he is the eternal ‘suryong’ and sun of ‘juche (self-reliance)’ of our party and revolution,” the North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial, referring to a revered title reserved for North Korean leaders.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • US President Joe Biden. 

    Monkeypox cases something to 'be concerned about': US President Joe Biden

    President Joe Biden said Sunday that recent cases of monkeypox that have been identified in Europe and the United States were something “to be concerned about.” In his first public comments on the disease, Biden added: “It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential." “They haven't told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,” Biden said.

  • A local resident walks by a destroyed building after a rocket attack on a university campus, amid Russia's invasion, in Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine.

    As Ukraine war heads to fourth month,  a timeline of events since conflict began

    The war between Russia and Ukraine is now heading to the fourth month, with no signs of peace. The ferocious fighting which began on February 24 has killed thousands of civilians, flattened cities and forced more than six million Ukrainians to flee the country. Having already abandoned its move to capture capital Kyiv, Russia is now all out to capture the eastern and southern parts of the war-torn country.

  • A worker wearing a face mask and protective gown drives a cart along a street in Shanghai, China, Saturday. 

    Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high Covid alert

    Shanghai reopened a small part of the world's longest subway system on Sunday after some lines had been closed for almost two months, as the city paves the way for a more complete lifting of its painful COVID-19 lockdown next week. Inside the carriages, passengers were seen keeping some empty seats between themselves. Four of the 20 lines reopened, and 273 bus routes. Most restrictions on movement will remain in place this month.

  • Biden said he was "not concerned" about new North Korean nuclear tests, which would be the first in nearly five years.

    'Hello. Period': Biden to Kim Jong Un, says 'prepared' for weapons test

    US President Joe Biden, in Seoul before heading to Japan as part of his first Asia trip as president, had a simple message for North Korea's Kim Jong Un: "Hello... period," he told reporters on the last day of his visit to South Korea on Sunday. Biden said he was "not concerned" about new North Korean nuclear tests, which would be the first in nearly five years.

  • TOPSHOT - Ukrainian servicemen assist their comrades not far from the frontline in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on May 21, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

    Only diplomacy can end Ukraine war: Zelensky as Kyiv rules out ceasefire- top 10

    Only diplomacy can end the Ukraine war, the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has insisted as Kyiv on Saturday ruled out settling for ceasefire or “concessions” to Russia. Here are ten updates on the Ukraine war: 1. The war-hit country has estimated its losses to be around $100 billion, reports have said. The Ukraine war has triggered a global fuel and food crisis. But it has also widened the differences between Russia and its neighbouring countries.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 22, 2022