*Warning this post contains some graphic photography*
US Ambassador Mark Lippert was on his way to attend a morning lecture in central Seoul when he was attacked by a militant Korean nationalist screaming demands for a unified North and South Korea slashed him in the face and wrist with a knife, early Thursday morning.
Lippert was taken to hospital after suffering a four-inch-long, one-inch-deep gash down the right side of his face.
Lippert underwent a three hour successful surgery but is said to be in a stable condition. Hospital chief Chung Nam-sik told reporters.
“Some paralysis of his face and left arm senses are expected and the ambassador is needed to be hospitalized at least three to four days,”
The attacker was identified as Kim Ki-jong, a 55-year-old man with anti-war views. Lippert was targeted from behind and slashed before being tackled by others who were also on the way to the lecture.
Police said they are still investigating the motive of the attack, but it’s reported that the suspect attacked a Japanese minister with pieces of concrete only five years ago he also tried to install a memorial to the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in downtown Seoul in 2011. Whilst in n 2007, he tried to burn himself during a protest outside the South Korean presidential office.
The State Department of Korea said the embassy in Seoul are coordinating with local law enforcement authorities as they investigate the attack.