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You're reading: North Koreans salute, cry for late leader Kim Jong Il (updated)
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Son and successor Kim Jong Un was head mourner on the gray day in Pyongyang, walking with one hand on the black hearse that carried his father’s coffin on its roof, his other hand raised in salute, his head bowed against the wind.

At the end of the 2 1/2-hour procession, rifles fired 21 times as Kim Jong Un stood flanked by the top party and military officials who are expected to be his inner circle of advisers. Kim then saluted again as goose-stepping soldiers carrying flags and rifles marched by.

Although analysts say Kim Jong Un is on the path toward cementing his power and all moves in North Korea so far — from titles giving him power over the ruling party and military and his leading position in the funeral procession — point in that direction, his age and inexperience leave questions about Kim’s long-term prospects. Whereas his father was groomed for power for 20 years before taking over, the younger Kim has had only about two years.

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