Shocking Attack: Opposition Leader of South Korea Assaulted with Neck Stabbing in Busan

On Tuesday, while on a visit to the southern port city of Busan, South Korea’s opposition leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck.

An official from the fire department and the main opposition Democratic Party, Lee, was taken to the Pusan National University Hospital and is conscious, according to reports from Reuters and party officials. While on a tour of the proposed airport site, he was attacked by an unidentified individual, according to Yonhap.

According to YTN news, Lee had a 1 cm-long cut in his neck as a result of the incident. According to news photos, the alleged assailant looked to be a man in his 50s or 60s who was wearing a paper crown bearing Lee’s name. Amidst a crowd of admirers, he went up to Lee and asked for an autograph before launching an assault, according to the video. At the scene, the attacker was promptly apprehended and neutralized.

According to the daily Busan Ilbo, the attacker was unwilling to respond to inquiries from the authorities regarding his intentions.

Shocking Attack Opposition Leader of South Korea Assaulted with Neck Stabbing in Busan (1)

A man was seen lunging at Lee with his arm outstretched in the attack, which was captured on camera and shared on social media and YTN. Lee then collapsed to the ground, winking.

In news images, Lee was seen lying on the ground with his eyes closed and somebody putting a cloth against his neck.

About twenty police officers were responding to the situation. Per his office, President Yoon Suk Yeol denounced the assault and deemed it intolerable. The president conveyed his sincere concern for him to ensure that Lee has the best care possible and can heal quickly.

Yoon, a conservative former chief prosecutor, defeated Lee, a former governor of Gyeonggi province, in a close race for president in 2022. Lee assumed leadership of the principal opposition party in August 2022.

April is when South Korea will hold its next set of parliamentary elections. In South Korea, political violence employing other weapons has a history, despite the country’s stringent gun control laws.

At a public gathering in 2022, Song Young-gil, Lee’s predecessor, was attacked by someone who struck his head with a blunt weapon, cutting him.

At a 2006 gathering, Park Geun-hye, the then-leader of the conservative opposition party and future president, was stabbed with a knife, requiring surgery to repair a gash on her face.

In 2015, Mark Lippert, the American ambassador to South Korea at the time, was attacked by someone and sustained a deep cut on his face while he was at a public function.

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