The march followed an historic summit in Pyongyang between the leaders of North and South Korea, seen as the high-point of a thaw in relations between the two countries.

North and South Korean athletes repeated the unified march at the 2004 summer games in Athens and the winter games in Turin, Italy, two years later.

Instead of national flags, they marched behind a flag showing an outline of the entire Korean peninsula.

However, the teams marched separately in the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 as relations between the two deteriorated once again over the North's nuclear programme.

North and South Korea have been divided since the end of the Second World War in 1945.

The two sides fought a bitter three-year war in the 1950s and remain officially at war, never having signed a peace treaty ending the conflict.