Russia's Itar-Tass news agency says North Korea has begun funeral ceremonies for Kim Jong Il.

The North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said earlier Wednesday that a hearse carrying Kim's body will be driven through the streets of Pyongyang.

Kim died of a heart attack on Dec. 17.

North Korea's state television station is airing footage showing a stream of wailing people paying their final respects to the late leader.

Kim's youngest son and successor Kim Jong Un has rapidly gained prominence following his father's death.

State media say the son and top party and military officials paid their respects at the memorial palace again on Tuesday.


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Courtesy Associated Press