SEOUL — North Korean civilians were ordered not to wear hats or gloves for the snowy funeral of leader Kim Jong-Il because his son and successor chose to escort the hearse bare-headed, a report said Tuesday.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based online newspaper run by defectors, said it had received information from a Pyongyang source about the “level of stage-management” for the December 28 ceremony.
It said local officials had told residents the day before the massive ceremony that Kim’s son and heir “Comrade Kim Jong-Un will also be escorting the General’s hearse bare-handed” and hatless.
Temperatures in Pyongyang on the day of the funeral fell as low as minus nine Celsius (15 Fahrenheit), according to South Korea’s weather service.
The paper said civilians were ordered not to wear hats, gloves or scarves even if it was snowing. They were reportedly warned that “behind every line there will be people watching”.
Video footage of the event showed virtually no one in the vast crowd that lined the route wearing hats or gloves, even though snow was falling. Some were seen blowing on their hands to warm them.
Students were ordered to keep watch on the behaviour of the crowds, the Daily NK said.
The funeral was followed by an equally massive memorial service on December 29, ending 13 days of official mourning for the late leader, who died on December 17 aged 69.
Jong-Un, aged in his late 20s has been proclaimed “great successor”.