By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Incheon

The North Korean Flag is raised in the Athletes' Village at Incheon 2014 ©AFP/Getty ImagesNorth Korea's Flag has been raised at the Athletes' Village here today on the eve of the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games, with DJ Psy's iconic K-Pop song Gangnam Style played as the delegation was welcomed. 

The raising of the Flag, as well as the subsequent singing of the North Korean National Anthem Aegukga, is particularly poignant because both are normally banned in South Korean, a country still officially at war with its northern neighbour ever since an armistice, rather than a peace treaty, was signed to end the Korean War in 1953.

Incheon played a leading role in that conflict because in 1950 it was the location for a successful amphibious invasion by 75,000 pro-southern United Nations troops.

North Korea subsequently boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both in Seoul, but took part in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, and it is hoped that by competing again here, sport can go so way to helping develop more cordial relations between the two nations. 
The choice of DJ Psy's hit Gangnam Style, which has had two billion views of YouTube and will feature at the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, was an interesting choice for such a symbolic moment.

Performed by breakdancers, the song was greeted with blank looks by most of the North Korean team, in comparison with those from the four teams welcomed at the same time - Singapore, China, Thailand and Yeman - who smiled and took pictures as the song was played.  
North Korea are welcomed to Incheon 2014 to the sound of Gangnam Style ©AFP/Getty ImagesNorth Korea are welcomed to Incheon 2014 to the sound of Gangnam Style
©AFP/Getty Images

The presence of the 150-strong North Korean delegation, aiming to improve upon the six gold medals they won four years ago in Guangzhou, is one of the main talking points ahead of the Games getting underway.

North Korean flags will also fly outside the competitions venues, although many have been taken down from streets around the city after protests by anti-Pyongyang activists. 

There have also been disagreements over over questions of who would foot the bill for the travel and accommodation of the delegation, leading to the absence of the North Korean "cheerleading" squad who have features at various other sporting events in recent years. 

Yet, on the other hand, there has been some applause from South Korean supporters as North Korea have won all three of their football matches so far here, with the men's team defeating China and Pakistan.

Their female counterparts beat Vietnam, 5-0.

It will be interesting to see what reception the country gets at tomorrow's Opening Ceremony, the prelude to 16 days of sporting competition across 36 sports featuring nearly 10,000 athletes. 

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