Olympic flame arrives at PyongyangApril 28th, 2008 - 12:18 am ICT by admin
Pyongyang, April 27 (Xinhua) The Beijing Olympics flame arrived at Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, early Monday for the 18th leg of its global torch relay. The special chartered plane carrying the flame, which was ignited March 24 in ancient Olympia of Greece, landed on the Sunan international airport at 00:28 a.m. local time from Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
The flight, directly flying from Seoul crossing the Yellow Sea, was a special arrangement, for the two Koreas were still in antagonising status on the 38th parallel after the 1950 Korean War.
Li Binghua, executive vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (BOCOG), carried the lantern of the flame and walked off the plane, receiving a welcome from Chinese ambassador to North Korea Liu Xiaoming.
Pak Hak Seon, chairman of the National Olympic Committee of North Korea, and Pak Pyong Jong, first vice-chairman of the People’s Committee of Pyongyang, were also present at the airport to welcome the flame.
Almost 1,000 Koreans and Chinese overseas students in North Korea greeted the flame in the airport, cheering and raising banners of “warm welcome to Beijing Olympic flame arriving in Pyongyang” and “wish the torch relay in Pyongyang a full success”.
The Pyongyang leg of the torch relay, starting from the Tower of the Juche Idea and concluding at the Kim Il Sung Stadium, will be held Monday morning. Eighty torchbearers will take part in the 20-km relay.
Pyongyang is the 18th stop of the Beijing Olympic torch relay around the world. The Olympic Flame will go to 21 cities on five continents before its journey continues in the Chinese mainland.