U.S. ambassador to south Korea attacked in protest against US-ROK war games, US’ division of Korea [Xinhua]

This article terms Kim Ki-jong, who slashed Ambassador Lippert, as “part of a progressive cultural activity group”. Compare with the south Korean liberal media outlet “The Hankyoreh”, which repeatedly referred to him in an article as an “extreme nationalist”. – Zuo Shou

by Yoo Seungki

SEOUL, March 5 (Xinhua) — U.S. envoy to South Korea Mark Lippert was injured on Thursday morning in a knife-wielding attack by a South Korean male assailant who shouted opposition to the ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint annual war games.

Lippert, U.S. ambassador to Seoul who took office last year as the youngest envoy for the post, was slashed in his cheek and hand with a knife blade at about 7:40 a.m. local time when he was preparing for a lecture at a venue in Sejong Cultural Center in central Seoul.

The assailant was Kim Ki-jong, 55, head of a South Korean progressive cultural activity group. In July 2010, Kim received a suspended two-year jail term for throwing two pieces of concrete at the Japanese ambassador to Seoul.

While being arrested, Kim shouted his strong opposition to “war exercises,” apparently indicating the South Korea-U.S. annual military exercises code-named “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle” that kicked off Monday.

Lippert was quickly taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment on his cut in right face and in left hand.

The envoy…[is]…believed to be one of closest aides to U.S. President Barack Obama…

…Concerns spread that such an act of violence may worsen the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Worries recently emerged over ties between Seoul and Washington as comments by U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman on South Korea-Japan relations raised controversy.

Sherman said Friday that it would not be hard for “a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy, ” referring to frosty relations between South Korea and Japan. Her comments were interpreted as the United Sates taking sides with Japan in the issue on wartime history shared by Seoul and Tokyo.

The attack on the U.S. envoy represented an anti-American sentiment shared by some South Koreans that hostile U.S. policy on [sic] the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may delay the reunification of the two Koreas.

Asked why he targeted the U.S. ambassador, Kim told reporters that the U.S. would “restore its reason” by his act, saying the South Korea-U.S. war games have prevented Korean families, separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, from being reunited. The assailant said he did the “right thing to do” as he has protested against war in the past 30 years…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-03/05/c_134040669.htm
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Related article: “S. Korean lawmakers blame U.S. diplomat for comments on Seoul-Tokyo ties” [Xinhua] — http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-03/02/c_134030993.htm

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