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North Korea bans residents from laughing for 10 days to mourn ex-leader’s death



North Koreans have been banned for 10 days not to laugh, drink or shop to mark the 10-year anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death.

Defaulters were warned would face appropriate consequences.

King Jong II is the father of the country’s present leader, Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Il succeeded his father, national founder Kim Il Sung, when the elder Kim died in 1994. He ruled the country until his own death in 2011, and was then succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Un.

The mark the occasion of his father’s death, King Jong Un decreed the nation to observe a period of mourning for ten days.

“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern border city of Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from China’s Dandong, told RFA’s Korean Service.

“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 said.

“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 source said.

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