South Korean Opposition Leader Lee Jae-myung Stabbed, Undergoes Surgery in Seoul

Busan, South Korea - Lee Jae-myung, the leader of South Korea's opposition and a prominent figure in the Democratic Party (DP), was subjected to a stabbing attack in Busan, prompting emergency medical intervention. The incident occurred earlier today during Lee's visit to the southeastern port city. According to Yonhap News Agency, Lee underwent urgent surgery at Seoul National University Hospital following the attack. The party conveyed that the surgery was challenging and that Lee's condition is being diligently monitored.

The attack took place on Busan's Gadeok Island, where Lee was surveying a new airport construction site. At approximately 10:27 a.m., a man in his 60s, disguised as an autograph seeker and wearing a paper crown, assaulted Lee, inflicting a wound on the left side of his neck. Lee, who remained conscious, was initially taken to Pusan National University Hospital for immediate treatment of the 1-centimeter laceration. He was later airlifted to Seoul for further surgery.

An anonymous hospital official noted the location of the injury, stating that it was "fortunate" the wound was to the jugular vein rather than the more critical carotid artery. Eyewitnesses reported that the assailant, pretending to be a supporter, approached Lee amid a gathering of supporters and media, before executing the attack. Police promptly arrested the suspect at the scene, identifying him as a man born in 1957, with the surname Kim. Kim confessed to purchasing the 18-centimeter-long knife used in the attack online and admitted his intent to kill Lee. The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency announced plans to charge Kim with attempted murder.

Officer Soh Je-han of the police agency stated that an investigation into Kim's exact motives and political affiliations is ongoing. Notably, Kim was also present at another event attended by Lee in Busan last month, as revealed by YouTube footage.

President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed grave concern over the incident and instructed police and relevant authorities to ensure Lee's rapid transportation to the hospital and to receive necessary medical care. Yoon condemned the violence, emphasizing that such acts should never be tolerated.

The DP has vehemently condemned the assault on Lee Jae-myung, labeling it an act of terrorism and a direct threat to democracy. In response, Yoon Hee-keun, the commissioner general of the National Police Agency, announced the formation of a special investigation team in Busan for an exhaustive inquiry and vowed to enhance security for key personnel.

Prosecutors have also assembled a special investigation team to uncover the details behind the attack.

scroll to top