North Korea has banned laughing, drinking and grocery shopping as the country enters a period of mourning beginning Friday. December 17 marks the 10th death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il. The leader ruled the country from 1994 to 2011. He was succeeded by Kim Jong Un, the current leader of North Korea.

According to a resident of the border city of Sinuiju, North Koreans are prohibited from consuming alcohol, laughing, shopping for groceries, or indulging in leisure activities.

Any infringement of the ban during the 10-day mourning period will result in significant consequences. The offenders will be arrested, as happens every year, according to the resident.

"In the past, many people who were caught drinking or intoxicated during the mourning period were jailed and treated as ideological criminals," the anonymous resident explained.

"They were never seen again."

No one will be permitted to perform funeral rituals or services or to celebrate birthdays, during the period of mourning.


"Even if a family member dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry aloud, and the body must be taken out once the grieving period is over. People are not even allowed to celebrate their own birthdays if they fall during the mourning period," the resident continued.

North Korea has planned a number of events to honour Kim Jong Il's life. These include a public exhibition of his photography and art, a concert, and an exhibition of the 'Kimjongilia,' a flower named after him.

Kim Jong Il died on December 17, 2011, at the age of 69, after suffering a heart attack.

Every year since his father's death, Kim pays tribute at his father's memorial, but the state media did not immediately disclose any public activity by Kim on Friday morning. 

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