Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
06 Mar, 2015 | 9:35 am
Doctors at Severance Hospital in South Korea announced on Friday (March 6) that U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, who was slashed in the face by a Korean nationalist on Thursday (March 5), is recovering well and that the stitches on his face will be removed next week.
42 year old Lippert, was bleeding from wounds to his face and wrist but was able to walk after the attack. Doctors have said that his condition was stable after “very successful” surgery that required 80 stitches in his face as the White House expressed optimism for his quick return to his duties.
Doctors treated Lippert for an 11-cm gash on the right side of his face and a puncture wound on his left wrist, causing nerve damage that was repaired.
The assailant was caught and identified by police as 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong. In 2010, Kim tried to attack the Japanese ambassador to Seoul by throwing a piece of concrete and was given a suspended jail term, according to police. Witnesses and police said Kim used a small fruit knife in the attack, which took place inside a large government arts centre across the street from the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy.
South Korean police meanwhile revealed that they were investigating possible links between the attack and the assailant’s frequent past visits to North Korea as they review whether to charge him with attempted murder.
Yoon Myeong-seong, chief of police in the capital’s Jongno district, told a news briefing that the suspect, Kim Ki-jong, visited North Korea seven times between 1999 and 2007. The head of the police team probing the attack also said they plan to seek a formal detention warrant on Friday.
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