Sobbing In Streets As Dictator Kim Jong Il's Funeral Begins - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sobbing In Streets As Dictator Kim Jong Il's Funeral Begins

MSNBC.COM/PYONGYANG, North Korea - Wailing and clutching at their hearts, tens of thousands of North Koreans lined the snowy streets of Pyongyang on Wednesday as the hearse carrying late leader Kim Jong Il's wound its way through the capital for a final farewell.

Son and successor Kim Jong Un led the procession, which is part of a two-day state funeral. Top military and party officials, including uncle Jang Song Thaek, were also part of the lead group.

Sobs and wails filled the air along the memorial route, which state media said was about 25 miles long.

At the end of the procession, Kim Jong Un walked along with the limousine with his hand cocked 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, passed by huge crowds of mourners, most of them standing in the snow with their heads bare. Many screamed, stamped their feet, flailed their arms and wept as soldiers struggled to keep them from spilling onto the road.

The mourners included many members of the country's 1.2 million-strong armed forces.

Kim's two other sons, Kim Jong Nam and Kim Jong Chol, were not spotted.

Kim Jong Il, who led the nation with an iron fist following his father Kim Il Sung's death in 1994, died of a heart attack Dec. 17 at age 69, according to state media. click here to read more

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