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North Korea Mourns Kim Jong Il

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North Koreans have shown extraordinary displays of grief in the days since the death of their leader Kim Jong Il on December 17th. Today marked the start of a two-day funeral ceremony, as thousands of North Koreans lined the snowy streets of Pyongyang to witness the procession of vehicles as it made its way to Kumsusan Memorial Palace. Official North Korean news sources have been declaring Kim Jong Un the "great successor," but questions about the transition and future governance of the volatile, secretive state continue to make foreign governments wary. South Korean intelligence recently indicated that North Korea has tightened security in cities, put troops on alert and won loyalty pledges from top generals after Kim's death as it consolidates power behind the anointed heir. Collected here are images -- most of them official North Korean releases -- of the public mourning in North Korea. [32 photos]

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North Koreans make a call of condolence for deceased leader Kim Jong Il at the Kim Il Sung Plaza in Pyongyang in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency early December 21, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA)
North Koreans make a call of condolence for deceased leader Kim Jong Il at the Kim Il Sung Plaza in Pyongyang in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency early December 21, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA)
North Koreans mourn their deceased leader Kim Jong Il at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, on December 27, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, on December 26, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
North Koreans weep for their deceased leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 23, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un cries as his father, North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il, lies in state during the run-up to his funeral in Pyongyang in this still image taken from video broadcast on December 27, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA via Reuters TV) #
North Koreans react as they pay respects to their late leader Kim Jong Il at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, on December 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service) #
Chinese tourists buy North Korean souvenirs beside the Yalu River Bridge leading to North Korea during the funeral of the late leader Kim Jong Il, at the Chinese border town of Dandong on December 28, 2011. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #
Hundreds of North Koreans form wide queues in Kim Il Sung Square to mourn the death of their leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 21, 2011. (AP Photo/APTN) #
People bring flowers to pay respects to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, in this image distributed by the Korean Central News Agency on December 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service) #
North Korean traffic control women weep for deceased leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in this photo taken by Kyodo on December 21, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
North Koreans react as they make a call of condolence for deceased leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 21, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
North Korean children mourn their deceased leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 27, 2011 in this photo released by the North's KCNA on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
A South Korean soldier watches a television showing North Korean military personnel during their leader Kim Jong Il's funeral at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, December 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #
North Koreans cover funeral flowers offered by mourners for their deceased leader Kim Jong Il as snow falls in Pyongyang, on December 23, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
A portrait of deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong Il stands above mourning North Koreans in Pyongyang in this picture taken on December 27, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
In this December 26, 2011 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by the Korea News Service, North Korean laborers at Kim Jong Tae electric locomotive association complex cheer for their production performance at a ceremony held to mourn the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea. The sign at left reads: "Let's change our sadness to strength and courage." (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service) #
A North Korean soldier watches the South Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone, South Korea, on Wednesday, December 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Wally Santana) #
Pyongyang residents sweep snow from the streets before the funeral procession for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (AP Photo) #
A limousine carrying a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il leads his funeral procession in Pyongyang in this photo taken by Kyodo, on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
Mourners react as a car carrying Kim Jong Il's body passes by during the funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (Kyodo News/AFP/Getty Images) #
North Koreans surround a hearse carrying the coffin of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
People walk by an electronic display in Hong Kong showing a portrait of North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il placed on top of a car at his funeral in Pyongyang on December 28, 2011. (Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images) #
Crowds attend the funeral procession for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
A car is surrounded by mourners as it carries the casket containing Kim Jong Il's body during his funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (Kyodo News/AFP/Getty Images) #
A limousine carrying a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il leads his funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
The funeral procession for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il passes by the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. (AP Photo) #
North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un (4th from left) salutes as he and his uncle Jang Song-thaek (3rd from left) accompany the hearse carrying the coffin of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his funeral procession in Pyongyang, on December 28, 2011. North Korea's military staged a huge funeral procession on Wednesday in the snowy streets of the capital Pyongyang for its deceased "dear leader," Kim Jong Il, readying a transition to his son, Kim Jong-un. Ri Yong-ho, Chief of General Staff of the Korea People's Army, salutes on the right. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
Thousands take part in a national memorial service for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Kim Il Sung Square, in Pyongyang, on December 29, 2011. (AP Photo) #
North Koreans gather during a memorial for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, in this KCNA picture released December 29, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
An overhead view of North Koreans attending the memorial for the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, in this picture released by the North's KCNA December 29, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #
People take part in a silent tribute during a national memorial service to mourn late leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo on December 29, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
North Koreans gather during a memorial for late North Korean leader Jong Il in Pyongyang, on December 29, 2011. (Reuters/KCNA) #

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