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US ambassador to South Korea injured in razor attack

March 5 2015, 05:27

Ambassador to South Korea was injured by a man wielding a razor in Seoul, and his assailant was immediately detained.Ambassador to South Korea was injured by a man wielding a razor in Seoul, and his assailant was immediately detained.The U.S. ambassador to South Korea was injured by a man wielding a razor Thursday morning in Seoul, and his assailant was immediately detained.

Mark W. Lippert was rushed to a nearby hospital with cuts to his face and wrist, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, and appeared to be splattered with blood but was on his feet, TV images show. He was on his way to attend a morning lecture in central Seoul when the attack took place shortly before 8 a.m, reports.

YTN TV reported that the man, only identified by his surname, Kim, screamed "South and North Korea should be reunified" during the attack.

Yonhap said Kim attacked Lippert with a razor blade. A State Department spokeswoman said that his injuries were not life-threatening and that he was being treated at a local hospital.

"We strongly condemn this act of violence," Marie Harf said.

A National Security Council spokesman said President Obama called Lippert after the attack to offer his thoughts for a speedy recovery.

Lippert, 42, was confirmed as the ambassador in September, and has been mostly popular during his time in Seoul. His wife gave birth here and the couple gave their son a Korean middle name.

He previously held senior positions in the Department of Defense between 2012 and 2014 before being nominated to the post. In 2008, he served as deputy director for foreign policy on the Obama-Biden transition team.

Yonhap reported that Kim received a suspended two-year prison term in July 2010 for throwing a piece of concrete at a Japanese ambassador to Seoul.

The rival Koreas have been divided for decades along the world's most heavily armed border. The U.S. stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, and some South Koreans see the U.S. presence as a barrier toward a unified Korea.

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