Arrest Warrant Issued for Suspect in Stabbing of South Korean Opposition Leader Lee Jae-myung

Police have issued an arrest warrant for the individual accused of stabbing South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung, who is currently recovering in hospital following surgery.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the suspect, a 67-year-old man surnamed Kim, attacked Lee Jae-myung, chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), in Busan. The incident took place on Tuesday morning as Lee was visiting the city to tour the construction site of a new airport on Gadeok Island. Kim, posing as an autograph-seeker, stabbed Lee in the neck and was immediately detained at the scene.

The police have filed for an arrest warrant on charges of attempted murder, following Kim's confession of his intent to kill Lee. Investigators have searched Kim's residence and his realtor's office in Asan, seizing his PC, laptop, a knife sharpener, and other items. The police are focusing on establishing the exact motive for the attack, noting evidence of premeditation, such as the purchase and modification of a mountaineering knife.

Officials also revealed that Kim appeared to have followed Lee's tour schedule, having traveled to Busan and the nearby city of Ulsan before the attack. In addition to investigating Kim's potential political affiliations, the police dispatched officers to the offices of both the DP and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) to determine if Kim is linked to any political party, believing this to be a key factor in uncovering his motive.

Lee Jae-myung was transferred to the general ward at Seoul National University Hospital on Wednesday after undergoing a two-hour surgery for an injury to his jugular vein. Initially, he was airlifted from Busan to Seoul for treatment. Party spokesperson Park Sung-joon had stated that only family members were allowed to visit Lee in the ICU, with party leadership and other members unable to meet him.

President Yoon Suk Yeol and rival parties have expressed deep concern over Lee's safety and condemned the attack, emphasizing the unacceptability of such violence. The stabbing comes as South Korea prepares for parliamentary elections in April, with both the DP and PPP adjusting their schedules and urging members to avoid politicizing the incident.

DP floor leader Rep. Hong Ik-pyo advised party members to focus on Lee's recovery and refrain from making political comments or speculating about the suspect's motives.

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