A man opposed to joint South Korean-U.S. military drills attacked the American ambassador in Seoul, slashing his face and arm as he was about to give a speech Thursday morning.
North Korea quickly called the stabbing a “knife attack of justice” and said it reflected “anti-U.S. sentiment” in South Korea.
The police have issued an arrest warrant for the suspect, Kim Ki-Jong, a 55-year-old man with a history of unpredictable behavior and said he could be charged with attempted murder.
A police official, Yoon Myeong-seong, also told reporters that Kim had previously visited North Korea seven times between 1999 and 2007, and that authorities were “intensively investigating” a possible connection between his visits to the reclusive state and this attack.
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was in stable condition after undergoing more than two hours of surgery in which he got 80 stitches to his face. He will probably remain hospitalized for three to four days, said Dr. Jung Nam-shik at Yonsei Severance Hospital.