US ambassador to South Korea injured knife attack
US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was injured in a knife attack in downtown Seoul on Thursday as he prepared to deliver a lecture organized by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation.
The attacker reportedly shouted, "No to war training" and "South and North Korea should be reunified."
A witness, Ahn Yang-ok, the head of the Korean Federation of Teachers' Associations, told YTN that Lippert had just been seated for breakfast ahead of the lecture organized by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation when a man ran toward the ambassador from a nearby table 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.
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 in August 2010 that Kim Ki-jong was 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.
The attacker's reported comments Thursday on Korean reunification are likely linked to lingering, deep divisions in South Korea that stem from the 1950-53 Korean War. The rival Koreas have been divided for decades along the world's most heavily armed border. The U.S., which backed South Korea during the war against China-backed Pyongyang, still stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, and some South Koreans see the U.S. presence as a barrier toward a reunified Korea — a view North Korea's propaganda machine regularly pushes in state media.
Anti-U.S. protesters in Seoul have recently been demonstrating to voice opposition to 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 celebrated the attack:
North Korea hailed a South Korean man’s attack on the U.S. ambassador to Seoul in a statement through its Korean Central News Agency, saying the attack “reflects public opinion” in South Korea and is a “righteous punishment” against the United States.
The statement said the alleged assailant, Kim Ki-jong, 55, gave “a knife-attack shower of justice” to Mark Lippert, who police said was slashed on the face and wrist with a 10-inch fruit knife.
Lippert was seen with blood on his hand and holding his bleeding face, and medical officials said 80 stitches were needed to close the facial wound. Lippert was in stable condition after undergoing surgery, the U.S. Embassy said.
The assailant shouted, "No to war training" before attacking Lippert, the Yonhap news agency reported. The man was reportedly later tackled and arrested.
The left in South Korea apparently doesn't mind the prospect of living under the beneficent rule of Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un. No doubt they believe if the US withdraws its support and South Korea reduces its defenses, that North Korea will see the light and happily join their brothers and sisters in reunifcation.
Just as long as Kim is in charge.
The desire for national suicide on the part of the left in South Korea has always puzzled me. You have to deliberately delude yourself into believing that the North is a rational actor and that it is the fault of the US and South Korean government that the Koreas remain apart.
No one has ever accused the left anywhere in the world of acting rationally. But in this case, if they got their way, there would be the potential for mass slaughter on a scale difficult to imagine.