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The details of Thursday morning’s knife attack on U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert at a breakfast lecture in Seoul are not 100 percent clear — an event organizer said that the assailant ran up to Lippert, screaming, as soup was being served, then began slashing; a reporter tells The New York Times that Lippert “was exchanging name cards when a man approached the ambassador and toppled him and attacked him in the face with a knife.”

But the motives of the attacker, 55-year-old Kim Ki-Jong, seem pretty certain. As he was cutting Lippert on the face and wrist with a 10-inch blade, Kim reportedly yelled “South and North Korea should be reunified,” and after the attack he told reporters that he was angry about ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises. North Korea calls the annual exercises a provocation each year, and fires missiles in protest; anti-U.S. activists in South Korea protest the military drills, too.

Lippert is in stable condition, and the wounds aren’t life-threatening, according to the State Department, which strongly condemned the attacks. President Obama also called Lippert, a former national security adviser, at the hospital to wish him a speedy recovery. South Korean President Park Geun-hye, on tour in the Middle East, called the incident “not only a physical attack on the U.S. ambassador in South Korea but also an attack on the Korea-U.S. alliance and we will not tolerate it.”

Lippert, 42, is a decorated Navy veteran and expert on Asia policy, and has been ambassador since last October.

via The Week http://ift.tt/1PQ8yGD

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