United States Diplomat to South korea country came under a knife attack by a person who demanded for Unification of korea while attacking the dilpomat. United States Diplomat was attacked early morning on thursday in Seoul capital metropolis of South Korea. Diplomat was hospitalized with wounds to his face and wrist.
Reacting on the attack United States Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted:
“Thoughts are w/@mwlippert & his family after today’s senseless attack. Grateful to people of #Korea for their care for him & well wishes.”
Media images showed a stunned-looking Mark W. Lippert examining his blood-covered left hand and holding his right hand over a cut on the right side of his face, his pink tie splattered with blood. The attack occurred at a performing arts center in downtown Seoul where Lippert was about to give a lecture on the prospects for peace on the divided Korean peninsula.
The U.S. Embassy said Lippert was in stable condition after surgery at a Seoul hospital.
In a televised briefing, Chung Nam-sik of the Severance Hospital said 80 stitches were needed to close the facial wound, which was just over 4 inches long and just over 1 inch deep. He added the cut did not affect Lippert’s nerves or salivary gland.
Chung said the knife also penetrated through Lippert’s left arm and damaged the nerves connected to his pinkie and tendons connected to his thumb. Lippert will need to be treated at the hospital for the next three or four days and may experience sensory problems in his left hand for several months, Chung said.
YTN TV reported that the suspect — identified by police as 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong — screamed during the attack, “South and North Korea should be reunified.” The comments touch on a deep political divide in South Korea over the still-fresh legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which is still technically ongoing because it ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Some South Koreans blame the presence of 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South as a deterrent to the North for the continuing split of the Korean Peninsula along the world’s most heavily armed border — a view North Korea’s propaganda machine regularly pushes in state media.
Witnesses said the attack happened suddenly. A knife-wielding man ran screaming up to Lippert as soup was being served for the breakfast meeting and began slashing, said Kim Young-man, spokesman for the group hosting the breakfast, the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation. A separate, unidentified witness told local media that as Lippert stood up for a handshake, the suspect wrestled the ambassador to the ground and slashed him with a knife.
Yonhap TV showed men in suits and ties piled on top of the attacker, who was dressed in a modern version of the traditional Korean hanbok, and Lippert later being rushed to a police car with a handkerchief pressed to his cheek. The suspect also shouted anti-war slogans after he was detained, police said, later adding that the knife was around 10 inches long.
“We strongly condemn this act of violence against Ambassador @mwlippert.”
Tweeted by Marie Harf
A National Security Council spokesman said President Obama called Lippert after the attack to offer his thoughts for a speedy recovery. Early Thursday Eastern Time, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said that Secretary of State John Kerry called Lippert to check in on his progress.
The suspect in the attack appeared to be well-known in Seoul for his willingness to use violence to highlight his grievances.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still happening, said the suspect in 2010 threw a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador in Seoul. South Korean media reported that Kim Ki-jong was later sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term over the attack. Kim, who was protesting Japan’s claim to small disputed islands that are occupied by South Korea, missed the ambassador with the concrete and hit his secretary instead, the reports said.
Kim also reportedly tried to set himself on fire with gasoline while protesting in front of the presidential Blue House in October 2007. He was demanding a government investigation into an alleged 1988 rape in Kim’s office, according to news reports.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning the attack and vowing a thorough investigation and strengthened protection of embassies. South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who is on a Middle East tour, said in a statement that what happened was “not only a physical attack on the U.S. ambassador in South Korea but also an attack on the Korea-U.S. alliance and we will not tolerate it.” Conservative civic groups planned to hold rallies later Thursday to condemn the attack on the ambassador.
The suspect on Thursday also reportedly made mention of something that anti-U.S. protesters in Seoul have recently demonstrated against: annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises that North Korea says are preparation for an invasion. Seoul and Washington say the drills, which will run until the end of April, are defensive and routine.
North Korea each year reacts with fury to the drills, which the impoverished country is forced to respond to with drills and weapons tests of its own. In 2013 it threatened nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul, and on the first day of this year’s drills, Monday, it test-fired short range missiles in a demonstration of anger.
Lippert, 42, was confirmed as the ambassador in September, and has been mostly popular during his time in Seoul. His wife gave birth here and the couple gave their son a Korean middle name.
He previously held senior positions in the Department of Defense between 2012 and 2014 before being nominated to the post. Lippert was formerly the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs and a foreign policy aide to Obama when Obama was a U.S. senator.