December 29, 2011 09:22
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's funeral started outside the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang at 2 p.m. Wednesday and was shown live on state TV.
The transmission was introduced by Ri Chun-hui, who had also announced his death and that of his father Kim Il-sung 17 years ago.
An escort vehicle preceded another vehicle carrying a large portrait of Kim Jong-il in the snow-covered plaza in front of the mausoleum. The vehicles were followed by a car carrying a wreath in the name of Kim Jong-il's son and new leader Jong-un and a hearse. A glass coffin with the body was set on top of a Lincoln Continental, the same car used for Kim Il-sung's coffin.
The coffin stood on a bed of white chrysanthemums and was shrouded in a red Workers Party flag.
Footage showed Kim Jong-un but neither his half brother Jong-nam nor his brother Jong-chol. Of his siblings, only his younger sister Yo-jong attended the funeral.
Since the regime announced Kim Jong-il's death on Dec. 19, the other sons who were passed over for the succession have not been seen in public.
The hearse started moving toward downtown Pyongyang past an honor guard lined up in front of the palace. All color bearers lowered the colors when the hearse passed. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the snow-covered streets and many wept aloud.
The motorcade slowly circled around Kim Il-sung Square, which was packed with mourners. After a brief ceremony there, the motorcade drove back to the palace, where it arrived around 4:45 p.m.
A 21-gun salute was fired. Around 5 p.m., Kim Jong-il was finally laid in state at the mausoleum alongside his father. When Kim Il-sung died, a 24-gun salute was fired.
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