South Korea: Stabbed in neck, opposition leader recovering after surgery

The assailant was identified as a 66-year-old

South Korea Opposition leader stabbed (File) South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung | AFP

Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung, who was stabbled by a man on Tuesday, is recovering after undergoing surgery. Lee, 59 was stabbed by a man, whose identity is yet to be revealed, while touring the site of a proposed new airport in southern city of Busan.

According to party spokesperson Kwon Chil-seung, Lee successfully underwent the surgery and is conscious in intensive care unit of the hospital. Kwon also condemned the attack and termed it a “political terror”.

The attack comes as the nation is preparing for parliamentary elections in April.

The attacker had lunged at Lee with a knife and stabbed his neck while pretending for asking his autograph. The suspect was wearing a paper crown with Lee's name on it.

Lee was airlifted to the capital Seoul after receiving emergency treatment in Busan, and had two hours of surgery at the Seoul National University Hospital.

The attacker was quickly caught by the party officials and police officers at the spot itself. A Busan police official, Son Je-han, said the assailant was born in 1957 and used an 18-cm (seven-inch)knife that had been bought online. He did not identify the suspect and said the motive was being investigated, reported Reuters.

"This type of violence must never be tolerated under any circumstances," President Yoon Suk Yeol was quoted as saying by his office.

Lee, a former governor of Gyeonggi province, lost to conservative Yoon, a former chief prosecutor, in the 2022 election. He was also accused of bribery from a development project when he was mayor of Seongnam near Seoul but denies wrongdoing.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp