Lee Jae-myung, the leader of South Korea’s opposition party, was stabbed in the neck Monday as he visited the site of an airport under construction.
The incident happened in the southeastern city of Busan as a man approached Lee requesting an autograph, Reuters reported. Video footage showed him lunging forward and attacking as Lee spoke to reporters, while other clips showed the pol grimacing and collapsing.
Lee’s condition was not immediately known, although he was conscious right after the stabbing as someone nearby pressed a handkerchief to his neck to stanch the bleeding from a centimeter-long gash to his neck. He was airlifted to the Pusan National University Hospital, Reuters reported.
The suspect was immediately subdued by police and bystanders and arrested. He did not give a motive but was seen sporting a crown adorned with Lee’s name, according to news photographs cited by Reuters.
Lee heads the main opposition Democratic Party and narrowly lost a presidential election last year to incumbent Yoon Suk Yeol. Yeol condemned the attack as unforgivable, Reuters reported.
Lee is a liberal and former provincial governor, known for being outspoken, and has led the opposition Democratic Party since August 2022. He is on trial on charges of bribery related to a development project dating back to his days as mayor of Seongnam, a 1-million population city just southeast of Seoul, according to Reuters. He has denied all charges.
With News Wire Services