Kyodo News via AP
Mourners cry during the funeral procession for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Dec. 28, 2011.
North Korea is punishing citizens who didn’t cry during the orchestrated public mourning over the death of Kim Jong Il, sentencing them to six months in a labor-training camp, according to a report.
The South Korea-based Daily NK newspaper said authorities have held “criticism sessions” for those who “transgressed” during organized weeping in the wake of the dictator’s death.
It said North Koreans accused of criticizing the world’s only hereditary totalitarian regime are being sent to re-education camps or being banished with their families to remote rural areas.
The news website quoted a source from North Hamkyung province saying: “The authorities are handing down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn’t participate in the organized gatherings during the mourning period, or who did participate but didn’t cry and didn't seem genuine.”
The funeral of Kim Jong-Il, the leader of one of the most isolated places on earth. NBC's Adrienne Mong reports.
The source added that the recriminations "created a vicious atmosphere of fear.”
Authorities are also forcing citizens to idolize Kim Jong Il’s youngest son, Kim Jong Un, newly-installed as leader.
“Every day from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., they have vehicles for broadcast propaganda parked on busy roads full of people going to and from work, noisily working to proclaim Kim Jong Un’s greatness,” the source said.
The website also reported that school children and factory workers are being made to study “the greatness of Kim Jong Un” in education sessions “packed so tightly together without a break that people are just exhausted.”
It added that it was able to verify the public trial claim, but noted authorities had earlier ordered the shooting of anyone who attempted to defect to South Korea during the mourning period.