Say what now? North Korea bans sarcasm

North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un

If you’re living in North Korea, and thinking of being a smart mouth… don’t. The country is cracking down on sarcasm among its citizens, specifically a phrase that targets its supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

The specific phrase is translated in English as ‘Are you the general?’, the but official translation would be ‘Are you the general or what?’

The phrase was used in a South Korean drama Crash Landing on You, and the crackdown comes as part of the dictatorship’s ongoing efforts to root out South Korea’s cultural influence.

BUZZ Fam, Kim Jong Un is often referred to as ‘The General’ and so the phrase is seen to be mocking his absolute authority.

“Law enforcement authorities have launched an investigation because some of the South Korean-style speech is [being used to] criticize the highest dignity,” an anonymous source told Radio Free Asia. 

The source said that the phrase has become a common part of North Korean speech since last year. He said that people ask, “You think you’re the general or something?” in order to point out “when someone inexperienced or young is acting stuck-up and thinks they are above themselves.”

The source claims that not only are people joking with one another, but they are also mocking Kim Jong Un at the same time by comparing someone who is inexperienced with the leader. King Jong Un became leader of North Korea after his father died in 2012.