Living in North Korea must be - and we're possibly understating it a little here - a bit of a drag.
There's no real freedom, constant poverty, occasional famine and you have to do whatever your crazy leader tells you to, like copy his hairstyle. So, yeah, a bit of a drag.
But, you'd think that, despite the every whim of their leader being adhered to, that some of life's basic dignities would be beyond their reach. But apparently not.
Weddings and funerals in the country's capital Pyongyang have been banned, while free movement in and out of the city has been forbidden, as a result of preparations for the country's first party congress in 36 years intensify, according to Daily NK. Cheong Joon-hee, a spokesman at South Korea's Unification Ministry believes that the measures are an attempt to minimise the risk of "mishaps" at the event.
That's right, you can't even bury your loved ones because there's a big conference going on. Way to go, authorities.
The last party congress took place in 1980, and supreme leader Kim Jong-un is expected to use it to further establish his leadership, declare that North Korea is a nuclear state, and give details of his future plans for the country.
The party's official newspaper stated: “The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] proudly joined the ranks of advanced nuclear and space powers while demonstrating the might of the invincible politico-ideological, military and youth power and is now dashing ahead toward to a socialist economic power and highly civilised nation.”
Yes, so civilised it tells people to wait a bit before burying their relatives.
Speaking in New York, North Korea's foreign minister - now that must be a thankless task - Ri Su-yong said, “One of the most important things through this party congress is to show to the entire world the union of our people. I'm sure our country will be even more vibrant after the party congress to build up a more prosperous and powerful, economically sound nation. The first thing is to advance the pace of economic building for a powerful nation. The second is to improve the people's living standards and to find the best, optimum ways to improve the people's living standards under these circumstances, and the third, to strengthen our national defence capabilities. The real source of power in our country isn't nuclear weapons or any other military means, but the single-minded unity of the people and the leader. This power of unity we have is the real source of power that leads our country into victory."
However, many believe that the real number one priority for the regime is simply to increase their military strength. US ambassador Samantha Power has previously explained, “Virtually all of the DPRK's resources are channelled into its reckless and relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.”