Slashed US Ambassador Needed 80 Stitches

Seoul suspect chucked concrete at Japan ambassador in 2010
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2015 3:42 AM CST
US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert leaves a lecture hall for a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, today.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Kim Ju-Sung)
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(Newser) – US Ambassador Mark Lippert is in stable condition after a man screaming demands for a unified North and South Korea slashed him on the face and wrist with a knife, South Korean police and US officials say. The State Department condemned the attack, which happened at a performing arts center in downtown Seoul as the ambassador was preparing for a Thursday morning lecture about prospects for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula. A spokesman for the city's Severance Hospital says 80 stitches were needed to close the facial wound, which was just over 4 inches long and just over an inch deep. He added the cut did not affect the 42-year-old ambassador's nerves or salivary gland.

The hospital spokesman says the knife penetrated through Lippert's left arm and damaged the nerves connected to his pinkie and tendons connected to his thumb. Lippert will need to be treated at the hospital for the next few days and may experience sensory problems in his left hand for several months, the spokesman says. A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says 55-year-old suspect Kim Ki-jong threw a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador in Seoul in 2010. Kim was sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term over the attack, according to South Korean media. Kim also reportedly tried to set himself on fire with gasoline while protesting in front of the presidential Blue House in October 2007.

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