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For 11 days North Koreans will not laugh, drink and shop...find out why

If this isn't bizarre then I don't know what is.

WONSAN, NORTH KOREA - APRIL 26: Kim Jong Il on a Propaganda Fresco, on April 26, 2010 in Wonsan, North Korea. (Photo by Eric LAFFORGUE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

North Koreans have been banned from drinking alcohol, laughing, shopping for groceries, or engaging in leisure activities for 11 days to mark the 10th death anniversary of former Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.

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“In the past, many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals,” said a citizen who spoke on a condition of anonymity to Radio Free Asia.

“They were taken away and never seen again.” During the mourning period, no one will be allowed to carry out even funeral rites or services or celebrate birthdays.

“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.”

According to the Associated Press, a siren blared for three minutes at midday on Friday, December 17 and North Koreans fell silent and bowed in respect for Kim Jong-il.

National flags were lowered to half-staff as North Koreans gathered in a large crowd at Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill.

They paid respect to Kim Jong-il by laying flowers and bowing before giant statues of him and his father.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gathered with hundreds of officials at a ceremony outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.

The embalmed bodies of his father and grandfather are kept there under the glass.

Kim Jong-il ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death on 17 December 2011. He took over the Kim family dynasty from his father and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung.

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