N.Korean Math Whiz Arrives in Seoul

  • By Lee Kil-seong

    September 29, 2016 09:16

    A North Korean math whiz who sought refuge in the South Korean Consulate General in Hong Kong in July has arrived in South Korea, Hong Kong media reported Tuesday.

    Ri Jong-yol, 18, left Hong Kong last Saturday and arrived in Seoul the same day via a third country. He had been holed up in the consulate for some 70 days after escaping his North Korean handlers during and international math contest.

    Jong-yol was part of a North Korean delegation to the International Mathematical Olympiad at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on July 6-16.

    His defection right after the contest was widely covered in the Hong Kong press. He had just won his third consecutive silver medal.

    Living in Kangwon Province, Jong-yol grew up clandestinely watching South Korean TV programs and listening to South Korean radio, and his father, a math teacher, also wanted his son to go to South Korea.

    During his stay at the consulate, South Korean staff protected him around the clock.

    The consulate gave him a games console to kill time, which he liked very much, Hong Kong's Ming Pao daily reported.

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