Leader of South Korea's Opposition Party Stabbed

Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck; his condition is not clear
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2024 9:14 PM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2024 12:00 AM CST
South Korea Opposition Leader Stabbed
South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung is seen after he was injured in Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.   (Sohn Hyung-joo/Yonhap via AP)
UPDATE Jan 2, 2024 12:00 AM CST

The leader of South Korea's opposition party was left with a 1-centimeter laceration on his neck after he was stabbed Tuesday, a Democratic Party spokesperson says. Lee Jae-myung has "suspected damage to his jugular vein" and doctors were concerned about possible additional bleeding, the spokesperson says, per CNN. He was conscious after the attack and was going to undergo surgery.

Jan 1, 2024 9:14 PM CST

The leader of South Korea's Democratic Party—the main opposition party in the country—was stabbed Tuesday while visiting the southern port city of Busan. Live-streamed television footage showed a man, wearing a paper crown with the politician's name and apparently posing as a supporter, approach as Lee Jae-myung left through a group of reporters and others, the New York Times reports. The man asked for an autograph before stabbing Lee in the neck, the Guardian reports. Lee was seen on the ground, eyes closed, as people pressed a handkerchief to his bleeding neck before an ambulance took him to the hospital. The suspect was taken down by police and bystanders and detained by police. Authorities have not given an update on Lee's condition, nor have they speculated on a possible motive, but he was said to be conscious at the hospital.

Lee nearly beat Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korea's current president, in the 2022 election. He's recently been investigated for corruption and other criminal allegations by state prosecutors, though he denies all the charges and says Yoon is using the criminal justice system to intimidate his political rivals. After the attack on Lee, Yoon promised an investigation as well as support for Lee's medical care. "The president emphasized that this form of violence should not be tolerated under any circumstances in our society," says a statement from his office. (More South Korea stories.)

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