By Nick Butler at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium

DJ Psy performs Gangnam Style to conclude the Incheon 2014 Opening Ceremony The Cauldron is lit to mark the finale of the Opening Ceremony ©TwitterA brilliant rendition of Gangnam Style by K-Pop superstar DJ Psy ensured an uplifting start for the Incheon 2014 Asian Games here this evening, but the most poignant element of the Ceremony was the enthusiastic reception for the North Korean team.

After the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, North and South Korea are still officially at war, and relations between the two have continued to be sporadic and fractious in recent years.

Indeed, the flying of the North Korean Flag, officially raised in the Athletes' Village yesterday and will also be seen at competition venues, is technically illegal south of the border.

But from the moment the delegation entered, loud cheers reverberated around the Stadium alongside the frantic waving of South Korean flags, with the volume of noise generated bettered only be the subsequent arrival of the host nation.

The reception was a reminder that, despite all the political animosity that, lest we forget, brought the world perilously close to Nuclear War in the 1950s, Koreans remain a united people irrespective of the border, with many families split either side.

Flag bearer Sok Yong-Bom of North Korea leads the North Korean team ©Getty ImagesFlag bearer Sok Yong-Bom of North Korea leads the North Korean team ©Getty Images

This theme of Asian unity was the central theme of the Opening Ceremony with the cultural presentation that began proceedings divided into three sections, acknowledging an "Asian Journey" that encompassed unity, fragmentation, innovation and interaction with the rest of the world.

Although at a time when there is fierce religious and sectarian conflict in the Middle East, territorial disputes throughout the Pacific and uncertainty within states ranging from Afghanistan to Thailand, the wider truth of this message can be questioned, but there is certainly a need for more continental cohesion, a point reiterated by Incheon 2014 President Kim Youngsoo.

"With deeper understanding and caring among us, this great diversity of Asia will become the driving force behind new innovation and creativity," he proclaimed to great applause.

"Dear Family and Friends of Asian Sports, you are the future of Asia.

"Please, do your best in a fair competition and respect and encourage others.

"Beautiful Games where both winners and the defeated embrace each other, will truly touch the hearts and minds of the people on the globe, and lead us on a fast track to a brighter future."

Similar sentiments were expressed by OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah, when he explained how, all those involved must unite and work together to make the Games great.

"Although the Asian Games belong to the Olympic Council of Asia, they also belong to you - the athletes, the officials, the citizens of Incheon, Korea and Asia," said the Kuwaiti.

"These are your Games, so let us unite and share the excitement and the passion over the next 16 days."

Following the two speeches, the Games were officially declared open by South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, before the arrival of first the OCA Flag and then the Olympic Flame.

After six athletes - spanning the sports of baseball, golf, badminton, speed-skating, basketball and tennis - carried the Torch, it was finally lit by South Korean actress Lee Young Ae.

The Cauldron is lit to mark the finale of the Opening Ceremony ©Getty ImagesThe Cauldron is lit to mark the finale of the Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images

This was followed by a rousing concluding segment of K-Pop, with boyband JYJ performing before DJ Psy performed his signature hit, a cultural phenomenon the video of which that has garnered over two billion YouTube views.

While it is hard to find deep meaning and lessons within the lyrics of Gangnam Style, a song that parodies the lifestyle of affluent people from the superb of Gangnam, it set a vibrant seen for the rest of the Games, and is a good example of South Korea and Asia leading the world.

The evening was certainly not flawless but it was a good start nonetheless. 

It should set the stage for the sporting action, consisting of 439 events across 36 different sports, which are due to begin tomorrow.

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