North Korea has said the razor attack on the US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was “just punishment” for the two countries’ joint military drills. The assault has left the US official’s face slashed, but he is now recovering.
Lippert was at a breakfast forum earlier in central Seoul when the attack occurred. During the attack, Lippert was slashed in the face by an unidentified man, a witness told Reuters. Other outlets are reporting that the assailant used a razor.
“The guy comes in wearing traditional Korean brown and tan dress. He yells something, goes up to the ambassador and slashes him in the face,” Michael Lammbrau of the Arirang Institute think tank, who witnessed the attack, said to Reuters.
“People wrestled the guy to the ground, the ambassador was still in his chair. The ambassador fought him from his seat. He was escorted out afterwards. There was a trail of blood behind him. He had about a seven inch-long gash on the right side of his face,” he added.
Images posted online show the ambassador with blood splattered on his hands and clothing as he clutches the right side of his face. He has been hospitalized and White House officials said the injuries are not life-threatening. President Barack Obama has also called Lippert to wish him a speedy recovery, the White House added.
“We strongly condemn this act of violence,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the incident an “attack on the South Korea-US alliance.”
#BREAKING N. Korea says attack on US envoy in Seoul "just punishment": KCNA
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 5, 2015
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