North Koreans were banned from showing any signs of happiness for 11 days. This requirement came into force on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of the country’s leader Kim Jong Il. Restrictions include a ban on laughter and alcohol during the mourning period. And today, on December 17, the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death, North Koreans were banned from going to grocery stores.
“During the period of mourning, we should not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities. Even if a member of your family dies while mourning for Chim Jong-il, you are not allowed to cry loudly, and the body must be taken out after the mourning is over. People cannot also celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the period of these 11 days,” commented a resident of the country.
Mourning events are held annually, usually they last 10 days, but this time an additional one was added, because of the 10th anniversary of the death.
“Last year, many people who were caught intoxicated during mourning were arrested as ideological criminals. They were taken away and never seen again,” the source said.
Kim Jong Il, who ruled the kingdom from 1994 until 2011, died of a heart attack at the age of 69. He was the father of the current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. His reign coincided with one of the darkest periods in North Korea’s history — the famine of the mid-1990s. It is estimated that 3.5 million people died in four years.