US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert attacked with knife at lecture in Seoul

Reports claimed the attacker screamed 'South and North Korea should be reunified' during the attack

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The Independent Online

The US ambassador to South Korea was seen bleeding heavily after he was attacked while giving a lecture in Seoul, according to reports.

The Yonhap news agency reported that a suspect was arrested and the envoy, Mark Lippert, was taken to a nearby hospital following the attack on Thursday morning.

The attacker, identified by police as 55-year-old Security services detain the suspect, identified as 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong, reportedly shouted “No to war training!” then lunged at Mr Lippert. YTN TV reported that Kim also screamed “South and North Korea should be reunified” during the attack.

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In 2010, Kim tried to attack the Japanese ambassador to Seoul by throwing a piece of concrete and was given a suspended jail term, according to police.

Witnesses and police said Kim used a small fruit knife in the attack, which took place inside a large government arts centre across the street from the heavily guarded US embassy on the South Korean capital's main ceremonial thoroughfare.

North Korea has condemned joint military exercises involving South Korea and the US.

A photograph showed the ambassador walking while holding his head with blood splattered across his face, shirt and tie. His left hand also appeared to be bleeding.

Mr Lippert, 42, became ambassador last year and has been mostly popular during his time in Seoul.

His wife gave birth in the city and the couple gave their son a Korean middle name. Mr Lippert was previously a US Assistant Defence Secretary for Asian affairs.

Additional reporting by agencies

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