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Don’t laugh! North Korea marks death anniversary of Kim Jong Il

PHOTO: Laughter carries harsh punishment during the death anniversary of Kim Jong Il. (via CNN)

Have you ever been in that situation when someone tells you, “don’t laugh!” and then it’s nearly impossible not to? In North Korea, failing to stifle laughter this week could come with severe consequences, as officials announced a 10-day ban on laughter to mark the 10 year death anniversary of the previous dictator Kim Jong Il.

Much like celebrations of joy and partying were banned in Thailand following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej 5 years ago, nationals of North Korea have reported that fun activities like laughing, enjoying leisure activities, or drinking booze have been banned for 10 days beginning today.

One would suspect, however, that the punishment for disobedience in North Korea is much harsher than they were in Thailand then. An anonymous North Korean resident told Radio Free Asia that people seen being drunk or having a cocktail during previous mourning periods were considered ideological criminals who were snatched up by authorities, never to be seen again.

Some sources report that the mourning period for Kim Jong Il that clamps down on joyous activities have been ongoing since the beginning of December, while others say that even things considered a necessity of life like grocery shopping have been banned during the mourning period. While celebrating birthdays is obviously not allowed under the ban on laughing, drinking, and revelling, it is reported that even traditional funeral services or ceremonies are not permitted until the mourning period is over.

Government officials plan on holding events to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il with several events including a concert and an exhibition of the former leader’s artwork and photography. There will even be a display of a flower named for the deceased dictator – the Kimjongilia.

SOURCE: Fox News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.