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Sunday, 29 September, 2002, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Asian Games begin
North Korean supporters
A large contingent of North Korean supporters is present

Asia's biggest sports event, the Asian Games, has opened in the South Korean port city of Busan with fanfare and fireworks.

Afghan delegation
Afghanistan is taking part for the first time in eight years
This event is the largest in its history, with 44 countries and more than 10,000 athletes and officials taking part.

Countries include the world's newest nation East Timor. Afghanistan, with 45 athletes, four of them women, is taking part in an international sports event for the first time in eight years.

Another highlight is North Korea's participation, marking the first time it has joining any international sports event hosted by rival South Korea.

North and South Korea delegation
The two Koreas marched under one flag

Huge cheers and applause could be heard across the stadium in Busan, as the two teams marched together, under what is being called the unification flag, showing a sky blue picture of an undivided Korean peninsular.

That is the aspiration of many here and sports can play an important role in bringing the two nations, who still remain technically at war, much closer together.


Nuclear tensions

Inside North Korea

Divided peninsula

TALKING POINT
See also:

29 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
28 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
05 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
07 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
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