High security and devotion ordered to mark Kim Il Sung’s death

A memorial event held at the Pyongyang Gymnasium to mark the 20th anniversary of leader Kim Il Sung’s death. Image: (Yonhap file photo, 2014).

24 years after Kim Il Sung’s death, the North Korean authorities have designated July 1 to July 8 – the day of his death – as a national period of mourning.  

“A mourning period has been designated from July 1st until the 8th, the day of the Suryong [Kim Il Sung]’s death. Orders have been handed down to be pious and conduct memorial events during this time,” a source in North Hamgyong Province said on July 6.

The Party policy was announced during morning assemblies at state enterprises by unit-level secretaries.  

“It was explained that everyone without exception must attend the memorial events. Drinking alcohol or committing shameful acts during this time such as singing or dancing, or otherwise acting without sufficient loyalty for the Suryong’s revolutionary honor, will render the accused as having no right to live in this land. These types of behavior are akin to aiding the enemy, and so we must be sure not to behave this way, the instructions said,” she added.

“In responding to the misdeeds of reactionary elements during this special mourning time, there will be extra high security, with additional patrols and strengthened protection of the border, factories, enterprises, research institutes, and statues, prompting a revolutionary awakening,” the source said. 

Describing the content of the instructions delivered in his region, a separate source in North Hamgyong Province said,  “Special attention must be paid to the unusual appearance of people in different places, and the floating population must be contained. If even the smallest unusual incident occurs, it is important to report it immediately. If an emergency occurs, move quickly according to the emergency protocols.”   

Asked about the opinions of residents, he explained that “aggressive market activity, laughing or talking loudly, and fighting with neighbors are all behaviors that are seen as contrary to the spirit of the mourning period.”

“Even if there’s a death in the family,” he said, we were told that “it’s important to clench one’s teeth and remain quiet.” They also emphasized that all people need to regard as their personal responsibility the maintenance of loyalty to Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, who cherishes the dying lessons passed down to him by his forebearers.”