North Korea – where the punishment for drinking during the mourning period can be mortar-fying

Gotta say it’s great to have been born a Kiwi and not a North Korean.

Among other things, your North Korean authorities took a very dim view of anyone indulging in pleasurable activities throughout the mourning period for Kim Jong-il.

We are talking about a 100-day mourning period and we are talking about drinking being a pleasurable activity.

Having to abstain from drink for 100 days would sorely test Alf and – fair to say – most of his mates.

Mind you, perhaps the North Korean tipple is rice wine or some such, in which case maybe Alf could give it a miss for 100 days, and even for a lifetime.

But the point is that anyone caught drinking during those 100 days would find they were in big trouble.

And the buggers who run the show have a flair for coming up with somewhat brutal punishments.

Your rank won’t much help, unless you are the President maybe, because they have just dispensed with the services of the vice-minister of the army for having tippled during those 100 days.

Alf learned of these happenings here.

A North Korean military officer has been executed with a mortar shell blast for disrespecting late ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-il by drinking alcohol during the 100-day mourning period.

South Korean media claim Kim Chol, the secretive state’s former vice minister of the army, was forced to stand on a spot that had been targeted with a mortar on the orders of Kim Jong-un.

The North Korean leader, who took over from his father after his death in December last year, demanded Kim Chol was ‘obliterated’, with ‘no trace of him behind, down to his hair’ in January.

Alf’s idea of obliteration involves his favourite whisky, and he is more than somewhat bothered by it being done with a mortar shell.

He is bothered, too, that the North Korean regime could order the 25 million population to abstain from pleasurable activities in honour of Kim Jong-il.

Ordering the peasants to abstain is fair enough.

But there should be some privileges attached to becoming a vice minister in the army, just as there are in becoming a minister in John Key’s cabinet.

Alas, no.

The order was all-embracing and –

As an initial crack down on pleasure, anyone found to be not showing extreme distress in the hours after the dictator’s death were dealt with severely by being sent to six months in labour camps, according to reports leaking from the Stalinist nation.

It was claimed that anyone who failed to turn up at organised mourning events within two days of the burial service were sent to a labour camp and punishment was also meted out to anyone who even made a mobile phone call out of the country.

When the mourning period to mark Kim’s burial was over, the strict ‘no pleasure’ period of 100 days followed.

Anyone who raised a glass of alcohol was in danger of receiving a death sentence.

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, Kim Chol was one of those who failed to resist the chance of having a drink.

And while he was the most senior official reported to have been arrested and executed, the South Korea newspaper reporter that a number of other generals were shot after being found guilty of drinking and being involved in sex scandals.

In total, 14 senior party, government and military officials were said to have been ‘purged’ on the direct orders of Kim’s son and new leader Kim Jong-un.

South Koreans reckon the purges will continue for the time being, as Kim Jong-un tightens his grip on power.

A good purge after a bout of constipation is no bad thing, in Alf’s experience, although he imagines the North Koreans have a different sort of purge in mind.

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