North Korean defects in South Korean consulate in Hong Kong: reports

A North Korean defector was believed to be holed up Thursday inside the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong seeking refuge, news reports said.

The consulate was under tight security and journalists were being told that officials would not comment on the matter.

The teenager was thought to have been in Hong Kong for the International Mathematical Olympiad, which was held at a local university earlier in July, the South China Morning Post reported. 

In the early 2000s, many North Koreans sought asylum at foreign embassies, but the number of defectors has dropped in recent years. 

Most do not normally seek passage through China, as Beijing forcibly repatriates would-be defectors to North Korea.

Hong Kong has a separate legal and governance system to the mainland, as part of the Sino-British joint declaration.

North Koreans have been visiting, living and studying in Hong Kong since the territory's handover to China in 1997.

Several North Koreans have studied at the University of Hong Kong. The nephew of current leader Kim Jong Un reportedly wanted to study at a boarding school in Hong Kong but was denied a visa.

Last update: Thu, 28/07/2016 - 09:39
Author: 

More from World

Magnitude-6.8 earthquake strikes near the Solomon Islands

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Friday, according to the US Geological Survey.

Trump pledges to make America "greater than ever before"

US president-elect Donald Trump pledges to make America "greater than ever before" in remarks at a Washington rally...

Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" Guzman extradited to US

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been extradited to the United States, Mexico's Foreign Ministry...

On final day, Obama blasts Congress on Gitmo, commutes drug sentences

US President Barack Obama used his final day in office to blast Congress for leaving him with unfinished business in...

West African troops cross into Gambia in search for Jammeh

Military forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) crossed from Senegal into Gambia, hours...