Just in case life in North Korea wasn’t sad enough, North Korean leadership has reportedly implemented a blanket ban on fun, according to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service.
North Korea “has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment,” the NIS, South Korea’s spy agency, revealed during a parliamentary briefing Monday, according to Yonhap News Agency. South Korean intelligence officials suspect the ban may be an attempt by North Korean authorities to reduce the negative impact of sanctions, which the United Nations imposed on the regime for its repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
In response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can theoretically strike parts, if not most, of the continental U.S. and the regime’s detonation of a staged thermonuclear bomb, the international community imposed crippling sanctions on the rogue regime, severely restricting both imports and exports and forcing countries around the world to cut ties with the North.
North Korea is regarded as one of the most repressive countries in the world today, according to Freedom House, an independent watchdog. “Surveillance is pervasive, arbitrary arrests and detention are common, and punishments for political offenses are severe,” the organization explains. If NIS reports are accurate, it appears that the situation is worsening.
The NIS reports that North Korea is also “strengthening control of outside information” and tightening its grip on society.
South Korean intelligence reported that Pyongyang conducted an inspection of the military’s General Political Bureau for the first time in 20 years and punished two senior officials. The details of their punishment is unknown, as the NIS is still working to determine exactly what occurred. The North reportedly targeted top officials for their “impure attitude toward the party leadership.”
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