Breaking News: American Ambassador Attacked in Seoul


UPDATE (11:09 am) photos  and video emerge of the alleged attacker.



UPDATE (9:16 am) The attacker, Kim Ki-jong is a 55-year-old man and he used a razor blade in the attack which occurred at 7:40 a.m., as the envoy was entering a lecture hall in downtown Seoul, police said.

According to Yonhap: The suspect shouted his opposition to the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises that started Monday. Police said Kim may be treated at a hospital for a foot injury before facing questioning.

In July 2010, Kim received a suspended two-year prison term for throwing a piece of concrete at a Japanese ambassador to Seoul.”

UPDATE (9:10 am) Assailant has been identified as “Dokdo Protector” Kim Ki-jong, who has been an avid protestor for 30 years reports the Korean media. Using a knife Kim opened a five cm gash on the right side of Lippert’s face while shouting for North South unification and an end to military training for war. Kim was reportedly arrested in 2010 for attacking the Japanese envoy to Seoul.

UPDATE (9:06 am) “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,” said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokesperson.

UPDATE (9:01 am): AP is reporting that the assailant was armed with a knife and reportedly shouted an anti-war slogan concerning American-Korean joint military drills as he attacked Ambassador Lippert.

Details are still coming in but it has been confirmed that Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea has been seriously injured in an attack by an armed assailant Thursday morning in Seoul.

The ambassador was photographed with blood on his face, hands and shirt while leaving a morning lecture in the Korean capital city.

Mr. Lippert was reportedly rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment and his attacker is in custody. The Associated Press and NBC News reported that the injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

Lippert, 42 who is reported to have strong personal ties with U.S. President Barack Obama, has been lauded by the Korean media and the public for the very friendly and engaging face he has put on the U.S. Ambassadorship in Korea –including publishing a bilingual blog as well as conducting warm public exchanges with the Korean citizenry both formally and casually. He was assigned to Seoul just last year.

Attack related to Wendy Sherman Speech?

Motives behind the attack have as yet not been released though there has been a recent uproar over remarks made by Wendy Sherman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, who told a Washington conference  that disputes over history between Korea and Japan were major obstacles to progress in relations between Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. In the speech Sherman warned political leaders against using the historical disputes for political gains.



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