On Tuesday, the leader of the South Korean opposition party, Lee Jae-myung, suffered a neck stabbing incident while engaging with reporters in the port city of Busan.
As Jae-myung walked amidst a group of journalists after inspecting a new airport site, footage broadcasted on South Korean television channels captured a sudden attack. A man in front of him lunged forward, striking him in the neck.
The 59-year-old leader was seen collapsing to the ground, prompting people in the vicinity to rush to his aid.
One man was seen applying a handkerchief to stem the bleeding on Jae-myung’s neck.
He was “walking to his car while talking to reporters when the attacker asked for his autograph“, a witness told local broadcaster YTN, adding that the opposition leader was then struck with what “looked like a knife.”
Emergency responders were witnessed lifting Jae-myung into an ambulance, and subsequently, he was transported to the hospital via a helicopter, as reported by the Yonhap news agency.
Despite bleeding, Jae-myung remained conscious during the journey to Pusan National University Hospital, according to the agency.
“This is an act of terror against Lee and a serious threat to democracy that should never occur under any circumstances,” Kwon Chil-seung, an MP from Lee’s Democratic Party, told reporters outside the hospital.
“As to Lee’s condition, we are waiting for the medical staff’s assessment,” he added, demanding a “thorough” police investigation into the attack.
Police in Busan said Jae-myung suffered a “one-centimetre laceration on his neck” and that he “remains conscious and bleeding is minor”, according to South Korean news outlet Chosun Ilbo.
Television footage depicted police officials subduing the attacker, who was wearing a hat bearing Jae-myung’s name, as they wrestled him to the ground. Yonhap reported that the assailant had been apprehended.
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