Offbeat

Classic Cars Rolled Out for Funeral of Kim Jong-il

A highly choreographed procession through the streets of the capital included a mix of European and American classics.

As the country closed down and the people openly wept and beat their chests, an open air procession made its way through the capital of Pyongyang as tens of thousands braved the freezing cold and bid farewell to their fallen leader. Classic Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln limousines crunched over the snow-covered streets, with a sprinkling of military vehicles flanking the funeral hearse, a 1976 Lincoln Continental. (An interesting choice given Kim Jong-il's appreciation of Mercedes sedans.)

Citizens were apparently enlisted to clear deep snow from the 40-mile parade route, while the funeral went on for three hours in sub-zero temperatures. An artillery salute alongside a three-minute silence, followed by trains and sea vessels sounding their horns in unison, ensured the Beloved Leader got an appropriately elaborate send of. Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of the departed despot, is expected to take control of the country. It is as yet unknown where his automotive preference lies, but driving a Kia or Hyundai might help patch things up with the south. Just a suggestion.

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