David Cameron says North Korea flag mix-up was 'an honest mistake'


Thursday 26 July 2012 13:42 BST
An official of DPR Korea gestures to the national flag as it is displayed wrongly
An official of DPR Korea gestures to the national flag as it is displayed wrongly (GETTY IMAGES)

David Cameron has said every effort will be made to ensure mistakes such as last night's Olympic flag mix-up never happen again.

The Prime Minister said the error in which the South Korean flag was wrongly shown instead of sworn enemy North Korea's at a football game was "an honest mistake" for which an apology has been issued.

"Every effort will be taken to make sure this won't happen again," Mr Cameron said.

The North Korean women's team staged a protest ahead of their match with Colombia after the South Korean flag was wrongly shown on a big screen at Glasgow's Hampden Park stadium.

As a consequence, the players walked off the pitch and delayed the match by an hour and five minutes.

"It was unfortunate and should not have happened," Mr Cameron said.

Speaking on a visit to the Olympic Park, Mr Cameron said: "This was an honest mistake, honestly made, an apology has been made and I'm sure every step will be taken to make sure these things don't happen again.

"We shouldn't over-inflate this episode. It was unfortunate, it shouldn't have happened and I think we can leave it at that."

On security, he said that from chairing the Government's Cobra meetings he knew "just how much thought has gone into providing the physical security for people here in the park, and in the country as a whole.

"You can never provide a 100% guarantee but what I've seen and what I've helped to co-ordinate is, I think, a fully joined-up effort which involves one of the best armed services anywhere in the world, very very professional people looking at every eventuality, a very efficient police service and also a lot of security here on the ground at the Games."

Asked about US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments questioning Britain's readiness to host the Olympics, Mr Cameron said: "Of course, this is a time of some economic difficulty for the UK, everybody knows that.

"But look at what we're capable of achieving as a nation, even at a difficult economic time.

"Look behind me at this extraordinary Olympic Park, built from nothing in seven years.

"Let me pay tribute by the way to the government that came before mine and the one before that - all played a role in this.

"In terms of the country coming together, I think the torch relay really demonstrates that this is not a London Games, this is not an England Games, this is a United Kingdom Games.

"I think we'll show the whole world not just that we've come together as a United Kingdom, but also we're extremely good at welcoming people from across the world."


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