Olympic torch relay concludes in North Korea

April 28th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by admin  

Pyongyang, April 28 (Xinhua) Thousands of Koreans, Chinese businessmen and overseas students cheered as the Olympic torch, on the 18th leg of its global tour, completed its run in the North Korean capital Monday without disturbance or interruption. The last torchbearer Chong Song Ok, popularly known as the “Marathon Queen”, ran up to the cauldron in front of the Kim Il Sung stadium from the Arch of Triumph and kindled the Olympic cauldron with the flame.

Spectators raised hundreds of banners which said “congratulations to the successful completion of Olympic torch relay in Pyongyang,” “cheers Beijing, cheers Pyongyang, cheers Olympic Games,” “China-DPRK friendship passed on from generation to generation.”

North Korean premier Kim Yong Il and Pyongyang’s representative on the International Olympic Committee attended the ceremony.

Head of the Beijing Olympic flame delegation, Li Binghua, who is also the executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (BOCOG), was among those who attended the ceremony.

The torch relay kicked off at around 10.15 a.m. at the tower of the Juche Idea.

Before kindling the first torch relayed in Pyongyang, a brief launching ceremony was held in the front of the tower of the Juche Idea, with a band playing the national anthems of China and North Korea.

Eighty torchbearers, who included government officials, athletes, people from various walks of life, and overseas Koreans and Chinese in North Korea, ran a 20-km route in Pyongyang that covers the city’s main streets and most of the scenic spots.

The Olympic flame left Pyongyang Monday evening for its next destination Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh City.

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