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American ambassador has face slashed by knife-wielding protester

The assailant was arrested immediately.

Image: YTN via Screengrab

THE US AMBASSADOR to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery today after being slashed on his face and arm in Seoul by a blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills.

The United States condemned the “act of violence” which left the ambassador bleeding profusely and saw him rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after 2-1/2 hours of treatment by plastic and orthopaedic surgeons.

Witnesses described how a man armed with a 25-centimetre (10-inch) paring knife had lunged across a table and attacked Lippert at a breakfast function in central Seoul.

The assailant, dressed in traditional Korean clothes and identified as Kim Ki-Jong, 55, was immediately wrestled to the ground and taken into police custody.

Source: YTN NEWS/YouTube

During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of reunifying the divided Korean peninsula, and later shouted his opposition to joint US-SKorea military exercises that began on Monday.

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He was a known political activist who had been handed a two-year suspended sentence in 2010 for throwing a rock at the then Japanese ambassador to Seoul.

Video footage showed Lippert, 42, being rushed from the breakfast event and bundled into a police car, one hand pressing a cloth to his bleeding right cheek, and his other hand and clothes smeared with blood.

- © AFP, 2015

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