SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck and rushed to hospital for treatment on Tuesday, months ahead of a national parliamentary election.
The country has a history of political violence dating back to its founding in 1948. Here are some of the most recent incidents:
2022: SONG YOUNG-GIL
Lee’s predecessor as leader of the Democratic Party, Song Young-gil , was attacked in Seoul by an elderly man wearing a traditional robe who approached him from behind and struck him on the head with a hammer.
Song, who was also serving as manager for Lee’s presidential campaign at the time, underwent surgery before returning to the campaign trail a day later.
Media described his attacker as a liberal activist with a YouTube channel. Reports said he shouted slogans criticising South Korea-U.S. military exercises when he struck Song.
Song, a longtime lawmaker, was arrested in December over a cash-for-votes scandal related to that election.
2015: MARK LIPPERT
Then U.S. ambassador Mark Lippert needed 80 stitches after his face was slashed with a fruit knife at a forum discussing Korean unification in the capital, Seoul.
He spent five days in hospital and underwent surgery for an 11-cm (4 inches) gash on the right side of his face, as well as a puncture wound on his left wrist that caused nerve damage, which was repaired.
The attack was carried out by a Korean nationalist who said he was protesting against annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
It prompted an outpouring of public support in South Korea.
North Korean state media, meanwhile, said the attack against Lippert was “deserved punishment” for the military drills, calling the assault “the knife of justice”.
2006: PARK GEUN-HYE
Then conservative opposition party leader, Park Geun-hye, was stabbed while attending a political rally.
She suffered an 11-centimetre gash to her face that required 60 stitches and prevented her from speaking normally for weeks.
The assailant told police he was frustrated at having to serve prison time for crimes he did not commit, media reported at the time.
The daughter of assassinated president Park Chung-hee, she was elected president herself in 2013, but was impeached and removed from office in 2017.
(Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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