U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was attacked by a man, only known by his surname Kim, Thursday morning. It has been reported by Fox News that the assailant, armed with a razor blade, was in favor of a unified Korea, and is seeing the United States as a stumbling block to achieve such unification.
Lippert suffered injuries, blood splattered on his face, as shown in images on TV. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The incident took place shortly before 8 a.m. as he was getting ready to attend a lecture in Seoul.
The State Department’s report revealed that the injuries are not life-threatening.
Kim apparently shouted “South and North Korea should be reunified” during the attack. He has earlier records of violence as well, one involves throwing a piece of concrete at a Japanese ambassador to Seoul, which gave him a two-year suspended prison term in July 2010.
After the incident, President Obama called Lippert to wish him a speedy recovery, a National Security Council spokesman said.
Before being nominated in the consulate, Lippert held positions in the Department of Defense between the years 2012 and 2014. Earlier in 2008, he served the Obama-Biden transition team as a deputy director for foreign policy.
Lippert, 42, has become very popular during his work in Seoul. He was confirmed as an ambassador last September.
The two Koreas have been divided since the 1950’s along a border, which is one of the world’s most heavily armed, according to The Guardian. USA offers military protection in South Korea against the North with its 28,500 troops positioned around the country. A few South Koreans see the U.S. contribution as a hindrance toward a unified Korea.