) -- Thousands of North Koreans witnessed former leader Kim Jong Il's funeral procession through the street of the country's capital of Pyongyang on Wednesday, according to media reports.

The world got a glimpse of the country's next leader, Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong Un, who led the line of mourners surrounded by top military officials, according to

The Associated Press


North Korea's next leader, Kim Jong Un, front left, salutes beside the hearse carrying the body of his late father and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during the funeral procession in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011.

Kim Jong Il, the country's absolute ruler since 1994 when his own father passed away, reportedly died of a heart attack on Dec. 17 at age 69.

Since Kim Jong Il's passing, his son has been heralded by state media as the "supreme leader," the


noted, adding that a memorial ceremony is expected to be held for Kim Jong Il on Thursday.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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Alexandra Zendrian