Massive Funeral For Late N. Korean Leader

December 28, 2011 by staff 

Massive Funeral For Late N. Korean LeaderMassive Funeral For Late N. Korean Leader, Tens of thousands of North Koreans lined snow-covered streets on Wednesday, wailing and clutching their chests as a black hearse carried late leader Kim Jong Il’s body through the capital for a final farewell that ended with a 21-gun salute.

The funeral procession on a gray, freezing day was accompanied by top military and party officials, but there was little doubt who the leader was. Son and successor Kim Jong Un served as head mourner, walking with one hand on the hearse, the other raised in salute, his head bowed against the wind.

State media — which over the past week have called Kim Jong Un “great successor,” “supreme leader” and “sagacious leader” — made it clear that the family’s hold on power would extend to a third generation, declaring the country in the younger Kim’s “warm care.”

Complete coverage: The death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il

At the end of the procession, Kim Jong Un again walked along with the limousine with his hand ccked in a salute. He stood head-bowed with top officials as rifles fired 21 times, then saluted again as goose-stepping soldiers carrying flags and rifles marched by.

The funeral procession, which began and ended at Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where Kim’s body had lain in state and where his father, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, is preserved, passed by huge crowds of mourners, most of them standing in the snow with their heads bare, many screaming and flailing their arms as soldiers struggled to keep them from spilling onto the road.

“How can the sky not cry?” a weeping soldier standing in the snow said to state TV. “The people … are all crying tears of blood.”

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