September 12, 2014 10:06
South Koreans will be strictly prohibited from waving North Korean flags during the Asian Games in Incheon that start next week. The ban is based in the decades-old National Security Law, which makes it illegal to recognize North Korea as a political entity.
Posting North Korean flags on the Internet is also forbidden.
The South Korean government faced the same dilemma during the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
North Korean athletes began arriving in the port city of Incheon on Monday to take part in the Asian Games starting on Sept. 19.
The ban was decided by officials from the Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office, National Intelligence Service and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in a meeting Monday. But the flag will be displayed at relevant sporting events, award ceremonies and in the athletes' village.
North Korean athletes can have their own flags and display them in sports stadiums.
North Korea decided to send no cheerleaders to the Asian Games after South Korea refused to foot the bill for their accommodation.
But South Koreans who are caught with a North Korean flag both inside and outside stadiums will face criminal charges.
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