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Madness! Laughter and alcohol banned for 11 days in North Korea

An 11-day period of mourning has begun for North Koreans, with government authorities banning them from laughing or drinking as the 10th anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il is marked.

Authorities have instructed the public not to show any sign of joy or happiness as long as the country honors his memory. Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011 and was succeeded by his third and youngest son, current leader Kim Jong Un.

Now, ten years after his death, North Koreans are forced to endure a period of mourning. “During this period, we should not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern border town of Sinuiji told Radio Free Asia.

The same source added that citizens are not allowed to shop even in the grocery store on December 17, the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death. “In the past, many citizens caught drinking or drunk during mourning have been arrested and treated as ideological criminals. They took them and we never saw them again. Even if a member of your family dies during the period of mourning, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body cannot be buried until it is finished. “People can not even celebrate their birthdays if they coincide at this time,” he said.

Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011 at the age of 69, after 17 years of violent and oppressive rule in the country. Although each year the period of mourning lasts 10 days, this year it will be extended by one day, to underline the tenth anniversary of his death.

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