U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, front right, leaves a lecture hall for a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 5, 2015, after being attacked by a man.
North Korea called the bloody knife attack on U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in Seoul on Thursday "justice" for joint military drills.
An official report from state-run news organization KCNA stated the attack with a "knife of justice" was a valid response to U.S. and South Korea's annual military exercises that began earlier this week.
The anti-American attack "reflects the mindset of South Koreans" who are "bringing danger of a war to the Korean peninsula through... saber-rattling," the report continued.
The attacker, Kim Ki-jong, 55, shouted "South and North Korea should be reunified," before slashing the ambassador. According to local media, he has a history of protest against perceived U.S. interference in Korean affairs.
Security officers with the ambassador were able to immediately pin him down until his arrest. Most U.S. ambassadors do not have security details.
The attack left a cut on Lippert's face from his under his cheekbone. But he is on the mend; the ambassador received 80 stitches on his face and underwent surgery on his arm. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, there was no lasting major damage to Lippert's face, but a minor wound to the nerves in his left pinkie could take six months to a year to heal.
Lippert tweeted a message of thanks for the public support hours after the attack, saying he would be back "ASAP" to continue work on the relationship between the US and South Korea. He is reported to be in stable condition at the hospital.
Doing well&in great spirits! Robyn, Sejun, Grigsby & I - deeply moved by the support! Will be back ASAP to advance US-ROK alliance! 같이 갑시다!
— Mark Lippert (@mwlippert) March 5, 2015
Tags: English, NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA, US AMBASSADOR, WORLD