The American ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was stabbed in the face during a breakfast meeting in the country’s capital today. Although traumatized, he was not seriously injured.
The ambassador also received a cut on his left hand after a South Korean nationalist militant attacked him while he was eating his breakfast and sipping coffee.
The attacker was subdued by security people at the event until the police arrived to formally arrest him.
After having been rushed to a local hospital, Lippert took to Twitter to share the fact that he is in high spirits, despite the attack, “Doing well and in great spirits!” he wrote in a tweet. “Will be back ASAP to advance US-ROK [Republic of Korea] alliance!”
President Barak Obama called the ambassador to wish him “the very best for a speedy recovery”, a US official confirmed.
While the state department strongly condemned the unprecedented attack, the South Korean President, Park Guen-hye, said the stabbing was an, “attack on the South Korea-US alliance.”
Lippert required 80 stitches to the wound on his face, which was longer than four inches, and almost half an inch deep.
The attacker has been named as Kim Ki-jong, who shouted, “South and North Korea should be reunified!” as he slashed the poor ambassador.
While many South Koreans are pro-American, a small group of nationalists feel that US military presence in the country prevents the unification of North and South Korea, a situation that some people want.
Lippert has been the ambassador to South Korea since 2014, so he hasn’t been in his position for very long. His wife, who gave birth to their son in South Korea, gave the child a Korean middle name, as reported by AP.
It is not know what the extent of the scar will be on Mr. Lippert’s face, as he recovers in hospital from his ordeal.