DPRK bids farewell to late leader Kim Jong-il

Updated: 2011-12-28 10:25


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DPRK bids farewell to late leader Kim Jong-il

A limousine carrying a portrait of late leader Kim Jong-il leads his funeral procession in Pyongyang in this still image taken from video December 28, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

PYONGYANG - People of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) bid their final farewell to the nation's late leader, Kim Jong-il, in snowy weather Wednesday.

A ceremony to bid a last farewell to Kim Jong-il began in the plaza of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace at 1 pm local time (0400 GMT).

DPRK Central TV footage showed columns of troops standing in the snow on the square as a limousine carrying a huge portrait of a smiling Kim followed by a motorcade escorting his hearse moved slowly along the street.

Flags were lowered to half-mast and somber funeral music was played a military troupe on the square in front of the palace.

Kim Jong-un, the late leader's third son, walked at the right front of the hearse, followed by the younger Kim's uncle, Jang Song-thaek. Ri Yong-ho, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, was walking at the left front.

The motorcade then entered downtown Pyongyang, where hundreds of thousands of tearful people lined the 40-km route.

Heartbroken Pyongyang residents wailed with the approach of the hearse, beating their chests in grief and chanting the name of their late national leader. Some people were so overcome with grief, they fell to the ground.

After circling the capital city, the motorcade returned to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace for the next ritual of the funeral.

The 69-year-old leader died from "great mental and physical strain" on December 17 on a train during a field guidance tour, according to the DPRK media.

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