12.28.11

Thousands Mourn Kim Jong-il in North Korea (Video)

Tens of thousands of North Korean citizens endured freezing temperatures Wednesday to glimpse the hearse of Kim Jong-il, crying and beating their chests. See video.

Tens of thousands of North Korean citizens crowded the streets of Pyongyang, part of an elaborate two-day mourning ritual for the late dictator. The funeral procession was led by a car with a huge portrait of Kim, followed by soldiers and the hearse. The soldiers appeared to lead the public displays of grief, as they flailed their hands, beat their chests, and yelled "Father, father" as Kim's coffin, wrapped in a red flag, passed. His son Kim Jong-un was the head mourner—another sign that he is his father’s successor. Next to Kim Jong-un were two other prominent Communist Party officials, his uncle Jang Song-taek and Ri Yong-ho, head of the army. The funeral services will continue Thursday with a national memorial service at noon.

Video screenshot
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KCNA / AFP / Getty Images
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Korean Central News Agency / AP Photo