North Korea beat Columbia 2-0
North Korea's players celebrate after winning their women's Group G football match against Colombia at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland.

North Korea's women's football team walked off the pitch at Glasgow's Hampden Park following a row over their flag in an embarrassing delay for the soft-launch of the London 2012 Olympic games.

A South Korean flag was shown beside images of the players on a giant screen before kickoff.

The players returned to the stadium only after organisers apologised to North Korean officials.

"Our team was not going to participate unless the problem was solved properly. Unfortunately, it took some time later for the broadcast to be done again properly and we made the decision to go on with the match," North Korea's coach, Sin Ui-gun, said.

"Our players cannot be shown with other flags, especially the South Korean one. If this matter had not been solved, continuing [the match] would have been nonsense," he added.

The squad was announced again and each player's face was shown beside the North Korean flag.

The game between North Korea and Colombia, the second in the six matches scheduled before the official opening of the London 2012 Olympics, started an hour late. North Korea beat Colombia 2-0.

The London 2012 organisers issued a statement admitting the incident as a "clear mistake".

"The South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag. Clearly that is a mistake. We will apologise to the team and the National Olympics Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again," they said.

"A genuine mistake was made for which we apologise," said Andy Mitchell, the London 2012 spokesman.

The two Koreas have been technically at war since the early 50s and tensions regularly escalate on the Korean peninsula over missile launches and military exercises.

Players from South and North will face each other in the first round of the men's Olympics table tennis team event.

London 2012: North Korea and Other Flag and National Anthem Gaffes