“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia’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 added that North Koreans will not be able hold funeral services or even celebrate their own birthdays should those events fall within the mourning period.
“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,” the resident said. “People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period.”
Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011 after ruling the country for 17 years. His reign was preceded by his father, Kim Il Sung, who established the country in 1948, ruling North Korea until his death in 1994.
The announcement isn’t even the most absurd ban North Korea has imposed this year. Back in May, Kim Jong Un banned skinny jeans due to their promotion of a “capitalistic lifestyle.” Per an article from the Guardian’s Priya Elan, citing other reports, the move also allegedly affected mullet hairstyles and certain types of body piercings.