US Ambassador to Seoul Injured from Extremist’s Assault
US Ambassador to Seoul Injured from Extremist’s Assault

United States Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert has been injured after a man attacked him with a knife at a forum in Seoul on Thursday where the envoy was scheduled to give a speech.
Lippert suffered an 11-centimeter-long and three-centimeter deep cut on his right chin and a penetrating wound on his left wrist. The U.S. envoy underwent a two-and-a-half hour surgery at Severance Hospital in Seoul.
The attacker was identified as 55-year-old South Korean Kim Ki-jong, leader of the progressive civic group Woorimadang. The Jongno district police chief said Kim attacked the envoy with a 25-centimeter knife. Police currently identify Kim as the lone assailant.
Kim, who was arrested in 2010 for attacking then-Japanese Ambassador Toshinori Shigeie, this time cried out his opposition to South Korea-US military drills as he was captured by police at the scene. While being treated for an ankle injury, Kim told reporters that he planned the crime for ten days in order to stop the training for war.
The South Korean government pledged to get to the bottom of the attack and sternly punish those responsible for the crime.
During her four-nation visit to the Middle East, South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the incident an attack on the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Park assured that South Korea will take every measure to thoroughly investigate the incident.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is taking the attack seriously as it targeted the ambassador of the nation’s most important ally. In a spokesman’s statement, the ministry also vowed to better ensure the safety of all diplomats along with their missions and other facilities.
As the key link between Seoul and Washington was attacked by an extremist, the two nations are working to prevent the incident from affecting their bilateral relations. Seoul’s Ambassador to Washington Ahn Ho-young met with U.S. officials including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel. They agreed to minimize the impact of the assault on the relationship between the two countries.

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