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Jul 25, 2012

N. Korea women protest over flag

North Korea's women's football team refused to start their match with Colombia on Wednesday night due to a dispute over the wrong flag being displayed.

The South Korea flag was shown alongside players' names on screens at Hampden Park instead of the North Korea equivalent when a video package was being shown ahead of kick-off.

The Koreans headed back into their dressing room in digust but were eventually persuaded to take the field and the game kicked off an hour and five minutes after it was meant to.

However, the organisers of the London 2012 event (LOCOG) issued a statement of apology over the incident which came a day before the Games were officially opened.

It read: "Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag. Clearly this is a mistake, we will apologise to the team and the national Olympic committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."

South Korea and North Korea exist as neighbours but have a far from harmonious relationship.

The countries were formally established as separate entities in 1948, and the Korean War began in 1950. Only two years ago, North Korean artillery shells killed four people, two from the military and two civilians, on Yeonpyeong Island in South Korea.

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