North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un is known to overreact. Just recently, he reportedly executed a high ranking official for sitting "disrespectfully." Having banned weddings and funerals already, Kim Jong-un is now taking aim at another one of his fierce enemies: sarcasm.
According to nonprofit news organization Radio Free Asia, North Koreans are being warned against using sarcasm. Sarcasm can be used to criticize the regime, which, state security officers have threatened, will not be forgiven.
In particular, officials pointed to popular expressions like "This is all America's fault," which can be used to ironically take shots at the regime. A source told RFA, "This habit of the central authorities of blaming the wrong country when a problem’s cause obviously lies elsewhere has led citizens to mock the party."
Central government authorities gave the warnings to citizens at various mass meetings across the desolate country starting near the end of last month. Officials claimed to have organized the meetings to raise awareness of potential "hostile actions" by rebels, but a source told RFA, "The main point of the lecture was 'Keep your mouths shut!'"
North Korea has never been a bastion of free speech, but the crackdown on sarcasm follows a year of more open defiance against the regime. Earlier this year, for example, graffiti at a construction site in the capital city of Pyongyang mocked the regime's production slogans.
The suppression of sarcasm will surely solve all of North Korea's problems and will continue to bring glory to the Supreme Leader.