September 11, 2014 12:36
Organizers of the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon pulled down all national flags that lined the streets of the port city after rightwing groups complained about the public display of the North Korean flag.
The flags of the 45 participating nations were hoisted along the streets of Incheon and the city of Goyang north of Seoul last week.
Under Olympic Council of Asia regulations, the flags of the council, host nation and participating countries are displayed around sports stadiums, accommodation and airports.
The North Korean flag was also hoisted during the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and Daegu Universiade in 2003.
But this time rightwing groups in Goyang protested, and the organizers took the drastic step of removing all national flags and replacing them with the OCA flag and Asian Games banner.
One official at the organizing committee said, "To avoid unnecessary controversy, we decided not to hoist any national flags outside the sports venues."
North Korean athletes are scheduled to arrive in Incheon from Monday.
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