Image via Getty; an anti-North rally in 2013 in Seoul, South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly issued a directive that prohibits citizens from making sarcastic remarks about what some may or may not label an oppressive regime, according to sources. If true, it seems like the right thing to do.


According to a Radio Free Asia report (discovered via this headline: “North Korea bans sarcasm because Kim Jong-un fears people only agree with him ‘ironically’”), North Korean officials have been announcing the sarcasm restriction in “mass meetings” since late August and I don’t see the issue:

North Korean citizens have recently been warned against the use in casual conversation of sarcasm directed against the regime of national leader Kim Jong Un, with state security officers threatening that even indirect criticisms of party leadership will not be forgiven, North Korean sources say.

Nothing wrong with that. Ironically, a North Korean parody news account unknowingly predicted the ban back in February. RPA further reports that during one of these meetings, a government authority “pointed specifically to commonly used expressions such as ‘This is all America’s fault,’ which when spoken ironically could be taken to imply criticism of the regime.” Perfectly reasonable. Also:


Another expression, “A fool who cannot see the outside world,” has also spread quickly from government workers in Pyongyang who were shocked at Kim Jong Un’s absence at celebrations held in Russia and China to mark the end of the Second World War, the source said.

Sorry, there’s no “joke” here. Humor is overrated. Sounds like the government is doing its job.