Jang Kyu-an, Song Hye-min
North Korea is in the midst of a mandatory seven-day mourning period to mark the 11th anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il, and no singing, drinking or celebrating will be allowed, the country said. a source told Radio Free Asia.
The government has ordered the public to maintain an attitude of solemn remorse over the life of the late “Dear Leader,” the father of current leader Kim Jong Un, who died on December 17, 2011. . The mourning period begins on Wednesday and ends on December 20th.
“During the commemoration, you must not drink alcohol or engage in entertainment such as singing or drinking,” a resident of the northern province of Liangjiang said Wednesday, requesting anonymity for security reasons. told RFA’s Korea Service.
Additionally, people are expected to tone down or avoid important life events such as coming-of-age ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. yesa ceremony to remember the deceased.
A source said, “During the memorial period, the atmosphere of fear that dominates and oppresses the residents will intensify.” “If you’re not careful during this time, you could end up in serious trouble.”
agent on the lookout
Authorities also told people to avoid making political statements or criticizing the government of any kind during this period, and threatened that covert operatives were on guard.
Movement between different parts of the country will also be more restricted than usual, making it nearly impossible to bribe authorities with travel passes during the mourning period, the sources said.
Residents of North Hamgyong Province in the northeast [they] During the period of mourning, residents there told RFA to speak freely on condition of anonymity.
A second source said that in addition to instructions to behave respectfully and refrain from criticizing or complaining about the authorities, the central government has ordered neighborhood guards to step up surveillance of people.
“Documentaries about Kim Jong Il’s achievements and his love for the people are being aired on TV every day,” another source said. “Various memorial-related events such as museum visits, intensive lectures and commemorative lectures are continuously held, but they always end with the theme of infinite loyalty to Kim Jong-un.”
December is also the birth month of Kim Jong Suk, the mother of General Secretary Kim Jong Il, and there are also commemorative events for her, so people get tired of focusing on the Kim dynasty at this time of year.
below freezing ritual
Some of Kim Jong Il’s mourning ceremonies are being held outdoors in the cold.
In South Pyongan Province, north of the capital Pyongyang, residents were forced to participate in mourning ceremonies throughout the day starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday. Temperatures ranged from -12 degrees Celsius (10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) to -2 degrees Celsius (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit), a source told RFA.
According to sources in South Pyeongan, the authorities required all women attending to wear traditional Korean attire. Women only owned one set that they wore only to formal events, most of which were indoors.
“People here are outraged that the authorities ignore the shivering woman who shows signs of frostbite, such as hypothermia and itching,” said an official in South Pyongan Province.
In Musan County, North Hamgyong Province, on Friday, authorities gathered miners for a two-hour memorial service in front of a government building when the weather was -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), a source said. told RFA.
“The complaining workers said things like:[Kim Jong Il] He continues to make people hungry and suffer in the cold even after his death.
Translated by Claire Shinyoung Oh Lee, Leejin J. Chung, and Eugene Whong. Written in English by Eugene Whong. Edited by Malcolm Foster.