Opposition leader in South Korea wounded in stabbing

South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck during a public event. The attacker's motive remains a mystery.

Publication: 02.01.2024 - 10:41
Opposition leader in South Korea wounded in stabbing
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In Busan, South Korea, an assailant stabbed Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party, in the neck during a public event. Emergency personnel initially treated him at a local hospital before airlifting him to Seoul National University Hospital. Despite the severity of the incident, doctors assessed his condition as not life-threatening after a CT scan and initial treatment.

Lee, who narrowly lost the 2022 presidential election, remained conscious throughout the ordeal. The attack happened as he was moving through a crowd of supporters and journalists.

The assailant, who had asked for an autograph while wearing a paper crown bearing Lee's name, suddenly lunged at him. The attacker used a knife he had bought online. Videos and photographs captured the moment, showing Lee collapsing and bleeding from the wound.

Son Je-han, a Busan police official, reported that authorities had detained the attacker, born in 1957, and were investigating his motive. The police intend to charge the assailant with attempted murder.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol strongly condemned the attack, emphasizing the necessity of providing Lee with the best possible care. Lee, a former governor of Gyeonggi province, currently faces bribery charges from his tenure as mayor of Seongnam, which he has consistently denied.

This incident is the latest in a series of political violence episodes in South Korea, a country known for its strict gun control laws but less stringent security measures for political leaders. Previous incidents include attacks on Lee's predecessor, Song Young-gil, former opposition leader Park Geun-hye, and Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

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