Korea DPR went back into seclusion at a Glasgow hotel after receiving profuse apologies and explanations from organisers for the flag flap that insulted it and had it considering withdrawing from the London Olympics football tournament.
The team refused to take the field initially after the South Korean flag was displayed on stadium screens when the Korea DPR players were being introduced before a match against Colombia in Glasgow. After finally agreeing to play - the game started more than an hour late - Korea DPR won 2-0.
"Winning the game can't compensate for the mistake," Korea DPR coach Sin Ui Gun said through an interpreter after the match, still angry about the mix-up. "I just want to stress once again that our players images and names can't be shown alongside the South Korea flag.
"We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us very greatly as you might know."
North Korea's IOC member wants Olympic organisers to take steps to ensure there is no more mix-up of national flags.
Chang Ung raised the incident at the IOC general assembly on Thursday, saying "I don't think it's a big political issue."
He proposed that protocol officials meet with team leaders before each medal ceremony to 'check this is your flag or this is your national anthem'.
IOC president Jacques Rogge called it a 'most unfortunate incident' and 'a simple human mistake'.
Prime Minister David Cameron called the mix-up an 'honest mistake' and said 'every effort will be taken to make sure this won't happen again'.
He added: "It was unfortunate and should not have happened."
Last month, there was another mix-up in Britain. British field hockey officials apologised to the South African women's team for playing the apartheid-era national anthem before one of its matches at the London Cup, a warm-up event for the Olympics.
The event's organiser, Great Britain Hockey, said it was an administrative mistake and offered a 'full and unreserved apology'.
North Korea and South Korea are bitter rivals and are still technically at war because their 1950-1953 conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The peninsula is divided by more than a heavily fortified border, with vast differences in political ideologies.
There was a thawing in the frosty relationship in 2000, when North and South Korean athletes marched together at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics under the unified Peninsula flag, sparking a standing ovation. But with relations deteriorating in the years since, each country insists on a separate flags and teams.
And the latest flag dispute comes amid high tension after a North Korea long-range rocket launch in April and repeated threats by Pyongyang to attack the South. Seoul and the U.S. have called the launch a cover for a test of banned long-range missile technology. North Korea says the rocket, which broke apart shortly after liftoff, was meant to put a satellite into orbit.
When asked if he thought the flag error may have been premeditated, Sin replied by saying: "That was the question I was going to ask to LOCOG."
Organisers spent time with the team on Wednesday night trying to explain the error, the major gaffe on the first day of the tournament.
"We made a mistake," London organising committee chief executive Paul Deighton told BBC's Today program. "It is as simple as that. We have apologised and taken steps to make sure that it absolutely cannot happen again. It was a simple human error, that's why we've apologised."
Deighton said he thought Korea DPR had accepted the apology. Organisers spent a lot of time with the North Koreans after the match trying to explain what happened, he said, and had written a formal letter to the team.
The chairman of the British Olympic Association Colin Moynihan told a news conference in London on Thursday that the incident was unfortunate but it was time to move on.
"Clearly it was an embarrassment," Moynihan said. "An apology has been offered. From our point of view, if that had of happened to us, we would recognise that organisers had done their best on the night and that an error had been made."
The flag flap began during player introductions when a Korea DPR player was introduced along with a shot of the South Korean flag on stadium jumbo screens. Large images of the North Korea flag were subsequently put up on both stadium jumbo screens during the delay and the players finally came out.
The International Olympic Committee said it was a matter for London officials.
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