Mark Lippert, America’s ambassador to South Korea, was attacked in Seoul. Lippert was attending a breakfast meeting in the capital when the attack happened. Police confirmed that Kim Ki-Jong was the attacker. He used a paring knife as a weapon. The blade measured at 10 inches long. The attack occured at 5:42 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Lippert is being treated in a local hospital for his wounds.
The attacker reportedly shouted “South and North Korea should be reunified!” before he attacked the ambassador. There is no evidence that the Ki-Jong was an agent of North Korea. In the past, the assailant is said to have thrown concrete at the Japanese ambassador to South Korea. Ki-Jong is the head of a left-wing nationalist group in South Korea and he shouted that the two Koreas should be unified and said “No to war training!” The United States and South Korea conducted their annual military training drills this week. South Korea’s state news agency, Yonhap, reported that Ki-Jong was a pro-North Korean activist.
“We strongly condemn this act of violence. The ambassador is being treated at a local hospital. His injuries are not life threatening.” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
Ambassador Lippert had been deployed as a Naval Reserve Lieutenant to Iraq, in 2007, to work as an intelligence officer with Navy SEALS. He has served as Ambassador to South Korea since October of last year. Lippert has been a longtime friend to President Obama. The President called Lippert to wish him well when he heard of the attack.
Additional reporting by TKNN’s Tyler