U.S. Ambassador in South Korea attacked with razor
March 5, 2015 12:29 pm
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed in the face by a knife-wielding man Thursday morning local time (late evening Wednesday E.T.) in Seoul, officials said.
The attacker, identified as Kim Ki-jong, a 55-year-old man with anti-war views, allegedly came at Lippert from behind and slashed him before being tackled by others who were also on the way to the lecture, police said.
Lippert, 42, was rushed to a nearby hospital. The suspect is in police custody. “We strongly condemn this act of violence,” Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement.
Police said they are still investigating the motive of the attack, but CNBC Asia reported that the suspect attacked a Japanese envoy with pieces of concrete five years ago.
A spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government “cannot but be appalled” by the attack, and called the United States South Korea’s “most important ally.” He pledged that the government would take all steps to ensure the safety of diplomats.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the assault a “senseless attack” and said his thoughts are with the Lippert and his family. The State Department said the embassy in Seoul is coordinating with local law enforcement authorities as they investigate the attack.
A spokeswoman for the White House said,”The President called U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mark Lippert, to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery.” - NBC news