Huge crowds assembled in Pyongyang on Thursday at a national memorial service for the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the second day of state-orchestrated ceremonies to mourn the dictator who died earlier this month.
The authoritarian regime used a mixture of somber music, hyperbolic speeches, booming artillery fire and blaring horns to honor the man who oversaw 17 years of despotic rule in the secretive nation.
The ceremony took place a day after a funeral procession for Kim spent three hours winding through the snow-laden streets of Pyongyang lined with thousands of wailing mourners.
Once again, the regime placed Kim Jong Un, the son and chosen successor of Kim Jong Il, at the center of proceedings, proclaiming him the "supreme leader" of North Korea - a fresh indication that the leadership transition is progressing smoothly.
The footage broadcast Thursday by North Korean state television showed thick rectangular blocks of people gathered in the snowy expanse of Kim Il Sung Square - named after Kim Jong Il's father, the founder of North Korea.
Kim Jong Un and other senior members of the regime stood solemnly on a viewing platform overlooking the square.
During the ceremony, a string of top officials took to the microphone to praise Kim Jong Il's life and reinforce Kim Jong Un's leadership credentials.
"Kim Jong Un is the greatest leader who has inherited Kim Jong Il's beliefs, leadership, courage and guts," said Kim Yong Nam, the president of the North Korean parliament.FULL STORY