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Comparing the deaths of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il & King Herod

Former North Korea Dictator Kim Jong IL (left) in meetings with the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev in 2011 Credit: Commons 3.0

North Korea’s delusional, communist dictator, Kim Jong-un, has ordered citizens not to laugh or drink alcohol for 11 days to mourn the death of Jong-un’s equally delusional father, Kim Jong-il, who was president of North Korea from 1994 to 2011.

Radio Free Asia reports that this period of mourning is intended to mark the tenth anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 17, 2011, at the age of 69.

One North Korean told Radio Free Asia:

During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities.

“In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals. They were taken away and never seen again. 

Even if your family member dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body must be taken out after it’s over. People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period.'”  

READ: North Koreans forced to mourn on 10th anniversary of former leader’s death

Of course, no one will mourn the death of a tyrant unless they are forced to on the threat of death.

This reminds me of the death of another tyrant, King Herod (40 BC to 4 AD), who was part of the birth story of Jesus.

The Death of King Herod

The Bible records that when the Magi visited King Herod on their journey to find Christ, Herod asked them to return once they found the Lord (Matthew 2:1-18).

However, after visiting Jesus, God warned the magi via a dream not to return to Herod. Once King Herod realized the Magi had avoided him, he brutally ordered the death of all the boys two years and younger in Bethlehem.

This move was very much in character with the brutal nature of Herod, who was hated by the Jews.

The ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, writes that when Herod was nearing death in 4 AD, he ordered the arrest of 70 Jewish elders, who would be executed when Herod died, forcing the Jews into a time of mourning.

However, it backfired when Herod’s sister released them instead, turning Herod’s death into a time of celebration.

READ: The Slaughter of the Innocents

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