North Koreans will observe the 10-year anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death – or face the consequences.
Dec. 17 marks ten years since Kim Jong Il passed away, paving the way for his son, Kim Jong Un, to take over. To mark the occasion, the current leader has decreed that the nation will observe a period of mourning for ten days.
FILE – In this April 25, 2002, file photo, then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il claps from the balcony as soldiers salute him during a military parade, celebrating the foundation of the armed forces in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Koreans are marking the anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il seven years ago with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son, Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)
Citizens cannot drink alcohol, laugh, or engage in leisure activities, a resident from the border city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia.
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The citizen also says grocery shopping has been banned on Dec. 17.
“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. “They were taken away and never seen again.”
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Citizens will not be able to carry out funeral rites or services or even celebrate their own birthdays if those events should occur within the mourning period.
But another source claimed that police have carried out a similar mandate since the beginning of the month to ensure an appropriate mood for the mourning period.
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The state has planned several events to commemorate Kim Jong Il’s life, including a public display of his photography and art, a concert, and an exhibition of the Kimjongilia, a flower named after him.