Seoul: The man who carried out knife attack on US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, was a pro-North Korean activist and miffed with joint US-South Korea military drills, reports said Thursday.
Armed with a 10-inch knife, the assaulter on Wednesday evening lunged at the US ambassador while he was preparing to deliver a speech in downtown Seoul, slashing him on his right cheek and hand, the police said.
According to Yonhap news agency, the assailant who has been identified as 55-year-old Kim Ki-Jong, has in past carried out pro-North Korean activities, the police said.
According to local media reports, the assailant is said to have carried out a similar act in 2010 whe he had hurled a stone at the then Japanese ambassador to Seoul.
According to an AFP report, the 55-year-old attacker is said to head an organisation which leads protests against Japanese claims to a group of small islands controlled by South Korea.
Just a day before carrying out the attack on the US envoy, he had expressed his anger over the joint US-South Korea drills, blaming them to be an obstacle in the resumption of a dialogue between North and South Korea.
The attack on the US envoy comes at a time when US and South Korea have launched their annual joint military exercises this week, causing the North to fume as usual.
In protest, North Korea fired two short-range ballisticmissiles into the Sea of Japan, also warning ‘merciless strikes’.