South Korean opposition leader stabbed in neck


South Korean opposition party leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck on Tuesday while talking to reporters in the port city of Busan.

Lee was walking in a crowd of journalists after visiting the site of a new airport when a man in front of him lunged and struck him in the neck, footage on South Korean television channels showed.

The 59-year-old was seen collapsing to the ground as people rushed to aid him. One man was seen pressing a handkerchief on Lee’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 Lee was then struck with what “looked like a knife”.

Emergency responders were seen carrying Lee into an ambulance. He was later taken to hospital on a helicopter, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The agency said he was bleeding but conscious as he was transported to the Pusan National University Hospital.

“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 Lee 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.

TV footage showed police officials wrestling the attacker to the ground. He was seen wearing a hat with Lee’s name on it.

Yonhap said the assailant has been arrested.

Opposition leader,

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