North Korean math whiz who defected in Hong Kong

The North Korean defector who mysteriously snuck away during an international mathematics contest in Hong Kong is believed to be Jong Yol Ri, a three-time silver medalist at the annual competition, the South China Morning Post has learnt.

A photo of Jong was sent to a Whatsapp chat group of some 100 university students helping at the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad a day after the team of six North Korean students were last seen at the event’s closing ceremony. They were asked to look for the math whiz. No one responded to the message, the source said.

CCTV footage from the university is understood to show a student leaving the campus alone.

It is believed that subsequently, a defector sought refuge at the local South Korean Consulate General, more than 20km away.The Consulate General remained tight-lipped, saying it was the South Korean government’s position that it would not confirm anything about the defector.

The North Korean delegation left with one member short and flew back to Pyongyang via the mainland on July 19.

[South China Morning Post]

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