Little is known about life in North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, but it is not really popular as the land of the free either. And adding to the numerous restrictions already in place, Pyongyang has now banned its citizens from taking part in gatherings that involve singing, drinking and entertainment.
Not just that, North Korea is also "strengthening control of outside information" and all these regulations are reportedly being put in place to increase the state's control over its citizens.
"(Pyongyang) has devised a system whereby party organs report people's economic hardships on a daily basis, and it has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment and is strengthening control of outside information," Yonhap quoted the South Korean National Intelligence Service as saying.
The new ban comes just a few months after North Korean authorities cancelled the Pyongyang Beer Festival allegedly due to drought in the country.
Additionally, these measures are also intended to curtail the negative impact that the UN sanctions are likely to bring to the reclusive country. The UN Security Council has imposed several sanctions on North Korea after it has refused to give up its nuclear programme, even testing a hydrogen bomb on September 3.
Since then UNSC has put a ban on textile exports and has also restricted the shipment of oil products in North Korea.
North Korea already has several restrictions in place including a travel ban. It also doesn't allow too many tourists to visit. Apart from that, the radio and television is censored and can be bought only preset to receive government frequencies. Internet access is restricted to just a few government officials, and citizens' conversations are routinely monitored. The country is also known to mete out harsh punishments to anyone who falls out of line.
Apart from the said bans, Pyongyang is also said to be monitoring the activities of the political unit of its military for "impure attitude." It has also taken action against some of them including bureau's chief Hwang Pyong So and his deputy Kim Won Hong.
Meanwhile, NIS is said to be monitoring activities in North Korea to pick up signs of more missile launches. "The agency is closely following the developments because there is a possibility that North Korea could fire an array of ballistic missiles this year under the name of a satellite launch and peaceful development of space," NIS said.
"We forecast that depending upon North Korean leader Kim's determination, a nuclear test is possible any time."