US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea was slashed multiple times by a single assailant prior to giving a speech at a breakfast meeting Thursday morning (local) in Seoul. The assailant, 55 year old Kim Ki-Jong, who has a long record of left-wing nationalist action, advocating reconciliation with the North and expulsion of American troops from the Korean peninsula. Kim had previously been convicted of hurling a stone at the Japanese Ambassador in 2010. This time his weapon of choice was a 10-inch paring knife.
Ambassador Lippert suffered multiple wounds to his face and wrist which while not threatening, required his being hurried off to the hospital in a police car.
From Yahoo News:
“A spokesman for the Korea Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, which hosted the breakfast function, apologised for the lack of security at the event.
“This man suddenly jumped out of the audience seat when the breakfast was about to start at the table,” the spokesman said.
“Other people tried to stop him but the situation unfolded too quickly. The ambassador was injured on the face and sent to hospital,” he added.
Security staff and police officers were later seen tackling the assailant, who was dressed in traditional Korean clothes and shouting slogans against joint US-South Korea military exercises.”
This appears to be a one-off event, with little significance beyond the individuals involved, but we will keep you posted.