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Coal mining no laughing matter in North Korea

A COMEDIAN has received an indefinite period of hard labor at a North Korean coal mine after a “slip of the tongue” during a performance last month.

Staff Reporter
Coal mining no laughing matter in North Korea

Popular North Korean comedian Lee Choon Hong satirized "sensitive issues" while giving a performance for workers at a 150,000-acre farm project, a source told Radio Free Asia.

The performance was organized by government officials.

The source said Lee’s show was interrupted and she was sent directly to the Jikdong youth coal mine in the South Pyongan city of Sunchon.

Lee was tasked with “hard labor” deep in the mine and has to be “extra careful about her every move” because she is in a trial period.

The source said punishments such as the one Lee was given were typically handed out to officials who made inappropriate remarks about the regime and usually involved an evaluation period of about six months.

What the comedian said has not been reported but it is noted her stint at the mine would not be her first after she was reportedly sent to do reform work in the mid-2000s after “misspeaking”

Lee previously worked for the propaganda squad of a military unit and had been chosen to join former leader Kim Jong-il’s Entourage of Delight – a troupe of entertainers he kept for his personal pleasure – during the 1980s and ‘90s.

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