Olympic torch begins North Korea leg

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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The Olympic torch has begun its first-ever run through North Korea.

An attentive and peaceful crowd of thousands watched the start of the relay Monday, some waving Chinese flags, APTN live footage showed. The event was presided over by the head of the country's rubber-stamp parliament, who often acts as a ceremonial state leader, Kim Yong Nam.

The flame was assured of a trouble-free trip on its 12-mile route through Pyongyang, where the city streets were lined by thousands more people waving paper flowers. North Korea is one of the world's most tightly controlled nations.