Ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack

NNA – The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a lone, blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing U.S.-Korean military drills.The United States condemned the “act of violence” which left the ambassador bleeding profusely from a deep wound on his right cheek and saw him rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable.Witnesses described how a man with a blade concealed in his right hand had lunged across a table at Lippert at a breakfast function at the Sejong Cultural Institute 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.As he assaulted Lippert, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of reunifying the divided Korean peninsula, and later shouted his opposition to joint U.S.-SKorea military exercises that began on Monday.Kim was known to police having been handed a two-year suspended sentence in 2010 for throwing a rock at the then Japanese ambassador to Seoul.Video footage showed the ambassador being rushed out of the building holding one hand to his bleeding right cheek, and his other hand smeared with blood with an apparent wound to the wrist.The 42-year-old envoy was bundled into a police car and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was initially treated before being transferred to the prestigious Severance Hospital.–AFP=========A.A.M