Has Anyone Seen Kim Jong Un? Mar 5, 2015 22:23:13 GMT
Post by Admin on Mar 5, 2015 22:23:13 GMT
The U.S. Ambassador to South Korea received 80 stitches in his face after he was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant Thursday morning in Seoul. The attacker is an ultra-nationalist political activist who claims he acted alone. Ambassador Mark Lippert, 42, was listed in stable condition Thursday after undergoing surgery at the Sinchon Severance Hospital in Seoul to repair lacerations to his face and left hand. The hospital director Jung Nam-shik said the ambassador needed stitches to close the deep gash to his face.
Jung said the gash on Lippert's face was about 11 centimeters (4 inches) long and 3 centimeters (1 inch) deep, located from his right cheekbone to jaw. He added that there was no major damage to Lippert's facial nerves or salivary glands. Doctors also treated his thumb and two fingers on left hand that were cut during the attack. The Associated Press reported that surgery was performed to repair tendon and nerve damage.
The attack happened about 7:40 a.m. local time Thursday (2240 GMT Wednesday). Later Thursday, Lippert wrote on his Twitter account that he is doing well and is in great spirits. U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Lippert after the attack, wishing him a speedy recovery, said White House national security spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. The U.S. State Department "strongly condemns" the attack, spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. "The U.S.-ROK alliance is strong; we will not be deterred by senseless acts of violence. "
Kerry, who was in Saudi Arabia for meetings with Gulf state officials, said, "The United States of America will never be intimidated or deterred by threats or by anybody who harms any American diplomats." Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement that he was "heartsick ... about the senseless attack on Mark. ... He is as devoted a public servant as they come, a great credit to both of our countries." Lippert served as a former policy aide to Leahy.
Michael Lammbrau of the Arirang Institute think-tank was at the meeting and told Reuters, "The guy comes in. ... He yells something, goes up to the ambassador and slashes him in the face.” Lammbrau said Kim shouted about Korean independence while he was being restrained. "It sounded like he was anti-American, anti-imperialist, that kind of stuff," he said. "The ambassador fought him from his seat. ... There was a trail of blood behind him," Lammbrau told Reuters. U.S. ambassadors have security details, but the size largely depends on the threat level of the post, the AP reported.