Nov. 14 (UPI) -- South Korea's foreign ministry expressed concern Thursday over the intensifying anti-government protests in Hong Kong, calling for a peaceful resolution of the situation.
"South Korea and Hong Kong have a close relationship in terms of economic and people-to-people exchanges. We are paying attention to the recent situation in Hong Kong with concern," ministry spokesman Kim In-chul told a regular briefing.
"We hope that Hong Kong's situation will be resolved peacefully at an early date and Hong Kong's prosperity and development will continue," he said.
Recent clashes between police and civilians in Hong Kong have paralyzed parts of the financial hub in yet another escalation of the violence that has persisted for five months.
On Thursday, anti-government protesters forced schools to close and blocked highways and other means of transportation, after two civilians suffered critical injuries in the latest confrontations.
Asked if the government has plans to take protective measures for South Koreans in Hong Kong, a ministry official told reporters that the ministry is watching the situation closely and is looking into a possible adjustment of its travel warning for the country.
In August, the government issued a "navy warning" for Hong Kong, the lowest of the four-phase travel alert system that calls for caution.