U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert was in stable condition when a person screaming demands for a unified North and Asian nation slashed him on the face and articulatio radiocarpea with a knife, South Korean police and U.S. officers aforementioned Thursday.
Media pictures showed a stunned-looking Lippert examining his blood-covered mitt and holding his right over a cut on the proper facet of his face, his pink tie spattered with blood.
The U.S. State Department condemned the attack, that happened at a humanities center in downtown Seoul because the ambassador was getting ready for a lecture concerning prospects for peace on the divided Korea, and aforementioned Lippert’s injuries weren’t life threatening.
The U.S. Embassy later aforementioned Lippert was in stable condition when surgery at a Seoul hospital. Photos showed a gash on Lippert’s face, beginning beneath his right os zygomaticum and increasing diagonally across his cheek toward his jawbone.
The attack can shock several outsiders as a result of the u. s. is South Korea’s nearest ally, its military preserver and an enormous commerce partner and cultural influence.
But the reported comments of the suspect, 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong, throughout the attack — “South and North Korea ought to be reunified” — bit on a deep political divide in Asian nation over the still-fresh heritage of the 1950-53 war, that continues to be technically in progress as a result of it led to associate cease-fire, not a pacification. Some South Koreans blame the presence of twenty eight,500 U.S. troops stationed within the South as a deterrent to the North for the continued split of the Korean Peninsula on the world’s most heavily armed border — a read North Korea’s information machine frequently pushes in state media.
The attack came suddenly, witnesses aforesaid. A knife-wielding man ran screaming up to Lippert as soup was being served for the breakfast meeting and commenced dynamic , aforesaid Kim Young-man, voice for the cluster hosting the breakfast, the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation. A separate, unidentified witness told native media that as Lippert stood up for a handshaking, the suspect wrestled the ambassador to the bottom and slashed him with a knife.
Yonhap TV showed men in suits and ties concentrated on prime of the offender, United Nations agency was wearing a contemporary version of the standard Korean hanbok, and Lippert later being rush to a motorcar with a blood-soaked hankey ironed to his cheek. The suspect additionally loud anti-war slogans once he was detained, police aforesaid. They aforesaid the knife was concerning twenty five centimeters long (10 inches).
A direct attack on a senior U.S. official is uncommon, however it represents a thread in South Korean society of generally extreme protests on each side of the political divide. Regular little to medium-sized demonstrations, typically by activists seen as skilled protesters, occur across national capital, typically either by anti-U.S. liberals United Nations agency support nearer reconciliation with the North, or pro-government conservative teams United Nations agency support the U.S. and hate capital of North Korea.
Violence typically breaks out at the protests. Scuffles with police and also the burning of effigies of North Korean and Japanese leaders square measure common. Demonstrators typically severe their own fingers, throw bodily fluids at embassies and take a look at to self-immolate. In 2008, many thousands took to the streets to protest U.S. beef imports when a mad cow scare in America. either side of the divide conjointly protest frequently against archrival Japan, that colonised Choson within the early twentieth century, over territorial and history disputes.
True to type, conservative civic teams planned to carry rallies later weekday to condemn the attack on the ambassador.
The suspect within the attack perceived to be well-known in capital of South Korea for his disposition to use violence to spotlight his grievances.
A police official, speaking on condition of obscurity as a result of the investigation was still happening, aforementioned the suspect in 2010 threw a chunk of concrete at the japanese ambassador in capital of South Korea. South Korean media rumored that Kim Ki-jong was later sentenced to a three-year suspended time over the attack. Kim, UN agency was complaintive Japan’s claim to tiny controversial islands that square measure occupied by Republic of Korea, lost the ambassador with the concrete and hit his secretary instead, the reports aforementioned.