North Korea Bans Laughing for 11 Days to Mark Kim Family Anniversary: Report

North Korea has banned its citizens from laughing for 11 days as the country commemorates the death of Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, according to Radio Free Asia's Korean Service.

An unnamed Sinuiju city resident told RFA this week that North Koreans are not allowed to drink alcohol, "laugh or engage in leisure activities" during the mourning period that started Friday.

The resident also said that grocery shopping was banned on December 17, the day Kim Jong II died in 2011.

"In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals," the resident said. "They were taken away and never seen again."

"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. People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period," the resident added.

Another resident who requested anonymity told the news outlet that law enforcement officials are ordered to "crack down" on those who violate the rules.

"It's a month-long special duty for the police. I heard that law enforcement officials cannot sleep at all," the unnamed resident of the southwestern province of South Hwanghae told RFA.

Citizens in Pyongyang on Friday observed a moment of silence for three minutes and bowed their heads as a siren blared across the city in remembrance of Kim Jong II. Cars, ships and trains all blew their horns.

The former strong man's son, current leader Kim Jong Un, was present with hundreds of officials at the ceremony, held outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of Jong II and his father lie under glass, Reuters reported.

During the ceremony, senior North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae called Kim Jong II "the parent of our people" who helped develop the military. He added that under Kim Jong Un, North Korea's "strategic status" has grown.

North Koreans are familiar with strict edicts. Last month, they were reportedly banned from wearing leather jackets as authorities moved to prevent residents from imitating Kim Jong Un's fashion choices, saying it is disrespectful to do so.

Also in November, a man reportedly faced a death sentence for smuggling in copies of Netflix's dystopian hit TV series Squid Game, which originates from South Korea.

North Korea Bans Laughing on death anniversary
North Korea has banned laughing during an 11-day mourning period as the country commemorates the death of Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, according to Radio Free Asia. Above, the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang on December 16. Photo by KIM WON JIN/AFP via Getty Images