North Korean civilians were ordered not to wear hats, gloves or scarves during the funeral of their leader Kim Jong-il despite sub-zero temperatures because his son and heir went bareheaded while he escorted his father's hearse.

Daily NK, a South Korean-based online newspaper run by defectors, said it has received information from a source in Pyongyang exposing the "level of stage-management" for the late dictator's funeral service on 28 December.

Footage from the day shows the hearse carrying the coffin of Kim Jong-il as it was driven through the snowy streets of Pyongyang. South Korea's weather service said temperatures in the North Korean capital on the day of the funeral fell as low as -9 C.

Despite the freezing weather, people were banned from wearing hats, gloves or scarves, according to the paper.

Mourners were warned that "behind every line there will be people watching" and that their new leader, Kim Jong-un, would be escorting his father's hearse without a hat.

The state funeral was followed by a memorial service on 29 December, which marked the end to the nation's 13 days of mourning for their Dear Leader.

Kim Jong-il had ruled over the rogue state for more than two decades prior to his death on 17 December at the age of 69.

He was succeeded by his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, who is believed to be in his late 20s. The young Kim has been dubbed the "Great Successor" by state media and is expected to share power with the military elite.