Security was tightened at the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong on Thursday after media reports that a North Korean, possibly a student, had sought refuge there. The North Korean is understood to be a member of a delegation that attended an academic competition at a Hong Kong university two weeks ago, the South China Morning Post said, citing government sources in the Chinese-ruled city. A student who assisted at a math olympiad held at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) told Reuters the organizing committee of the competition asked for help on July 16 to track down an 18-year-old North Korean who had gone missing after the contest. North and South Korea remain technically at war, and the reports of a possible defection are bound to exacerbate tensions. Uniformed and plainclothes police were patrolling around the office building near the heart of Hong Kong’s financial center where the South Korean consulate is located. Scores of reporters thronged the building. Local government and consulate officials declined comment.
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