South Korea bans citizens from carrying North Korean flag during Asian Games

September 12, 2014
The first batch of 94 members of the North Korean delegation to the Incheon Asian Games arrives at Incheon International Airport on Sept. 11, 2014. (Yonhap)

The first batch of 94 members of the North Korean delegation to the Incheon Asian Games arrives at Incheon International Airport on Sept. 11, 2014. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korea made it clear Friday that its nationals will be prohibited from carrying the North Korean flag even during the coming Asian Games.

The North Korean flag issue has sparked a controversy here with the opening of the games just a week away. North Korea is sending a 273-member delegation to the event to be held in the South Korean port city of Incheon.

Seoul’s unification ministry said related government organizations have reviewed the matter in consideration of the unique characteristics of inter-Korean relations and national sentiment in the South.

“South Korean people are banned from possessing the North Korean flag or bringing it into the stadium,” ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said at a press briefing.

Also, no North Korean flag will be raised on the streets of Incheon, just west of Seoul.

But hoisting the North Korean flag will be allowed in the stadium and athletes’ village, Lim added.

South Korea has a draconian national security law aimed at keeping anti-state and pro-communist acts at bay.

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