While he was giving a lecture, Mark Lippert, U.S. ambassador to South Korea, was attacked and injured by a man wielding what was possibly a small razor blade, CNN reports. Lippert was bleeding from his face and hand/wrist area, but his injuries are not seen as life-threatening, the Associated Press reports. He was taken to be treated at a hospital.
The ambassador was attending a meeting about the reconciliation of South Korea and North Korea when the suspect, who is believed to be in his 60s, attacked Lippert while yelling, "South and North Korea should be reunified," according to YTN TV, a 24-hour news channel in South Korea. There has been tension between the two countries for years — the Koreas split after World War II, as the South supported the United States, and the North supported the Soviet Union.
Lippert was named as the U.S. ambassador to South Korea by President Obama in 2014. He was previously serving as chief of staff to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Right before his appointment, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told The Daily Beast:
South Korea will count itself lucky to have a person as able, as close to the president, as dedicated to the alliance, and as competent as Mark Lippert. The guy has done it all for the last several years and this will only strengthen relations between South Korea and Washington.
Image: CNN screengrab via YTN