Punishment for lack of tears at Kim Jong-il funeral

Jan 13, 2012

Labour-training camp sentences handed out to North Koreans who did not cry convincingly

NORTH KOREANS who did not cry convincingly enough after the death of Kim Jong-il face six months in labour training camps, according to a local report.
Authorities allegedly carried out ‘criticism sessions’ following the death of the Dear Leader to identify ‘traitors’ who did not attend the highly orchestrated mourning events. Those who were not sufficiently sincere during the bereavement period have been branded ‘reactionaries’
An unnamed source from the North Hamkyung Province told the Daily NK: “The authorities are handing down at least six months in a labour-training camp to anybody who didn’t participate in the organised gatherings during the mourning period, or who did participate but didn’t cry and didn’t seem genuine.”
The source said that a single parent in Hyesan, who was arrested at the end of December for failing to attend an event, was unable to go because they were caring for their sick child.
People accused of criticising the country’s third generation dynasty will also be sent to re-education camps or banished to remote rural areas with their families, according to the report.
The newspaper claims that authorities ordered the military to shoot anyone who attempted to defect during the mourning period and “eliminate their family”. Anyone who tried to leave the country or use a mobile phone to make calls out of North Korea at the time could also face trial.
The NK source said the criticism sessions had created a “vicious atmosphere of fear” among citizens and accusations that the new leader Kim Jong-un was preying on the people he had come to rule. But North Korean authorities continue to churn out propaganda material proclaiming his ‘greatness’. 
US intelligence officials have previously said they believe Jong-un to be unpredictable and volatile, with a sadistic streak.
It is unclear how many people could face imprisonment but the Daily Mail says the figure could be many thousands.

Sign up for our daily newsletter