News 9 September 2016
Author: Marisa Lee

WTF? North Korea has fully banned sarcasm

Author Marisa Lee
9 September 2016

Yeah – we’re being completely serious. North Korea has officially forbidden citizens from making sarcastic comments about leader Kim Jong-un or his oppressive regime in their conversations.

Asian media reports state that even indirect criticism of the government has been banned through several mass meetings held by functionaries across the country, warning residents against criticising the state.

A source in the Jagang Province told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service that, “One state security official personally organised a meeting to alert local residents to potential ‘hostile actions’ by internal rebellious elements. The main point of the lecture was ‘Keep your mouths shut.’”

The caution was also delivered in the neighbouring Yangang Province, and comes after regional media reported a recent increase in public acts of disagreement, including graffiti mocking the government.

Apparently citizens were told that sarcastic comments like “This is all America’s fault” would be considered unacceptable criticism of the regime, as well as expressions mocking Kim Jong-un, like, “A fool who cannot see the outside world.”

Kim Jong-un’s ban on sarcasm joins the list of unusual decisions that dictators have been making this year, with President Mugabe ordering the arrest of his whole Olympic team earlier this month.