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Sunday, September 17, 2000
North Korea broadcasts historic joint Olympic march

 TOKYO (AP) -- Two days after the event, North Korean television showed footage for the first time of its athletes marching with their South Korean competitors at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

 When the ceremony took place in Sydney, Australia, Friday night, enraptured South Koreans watched the historic march live on television. But the state-controlled media in the communist North ignored the event.

 That changed Sunday morning (Saturday night EDT) when the North's national broadcaster used its news program to show images of the athletes from the two countries marching behind a unification flag, according to the RadioPress News Agency, which monitors North Korean media from Tokyo.

 Rather than provide its own commentary in the report, the television network quoted a report by The Associated Press, which had described the thunderous applause that greeted a ceremony symbolizing the reconciliation between North and South Korea.

 For decades, North Korea has been deeply suspicious of the outside world, using its news reports to slam the United States as an imperialist aggressor and South Korea as its puppet.

 But in June, the leaders of North and South held a historic summit in Pyongyang, the North's capital, and agreed to work for reconciliation. They also have allowed temporary reunions of families that have been separated across the closed Korean border for decades.

 Millions of South Koreans watched on television as the 180 athletes from both sides of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the world's most heavily guarded border, marched shoulder-to-shoulder.

 "For the brief five minutes the athletes walked together, Korea was a one and single nation," Seoul's daily Kyunghyang Shinmun said.

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