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North Korea has hailed the bloody assault on the US ambassador to South Korea this morning as “deserved punishment” carried out by “the knife of justice”.
In an inflammatory news piece issued by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea linked the attack on diplomat Mark Lippert to annual US-South Korean military exercises.
Kim Jong-un’s regime has denounced the drills as preparations for an invasion, but a South Korean military official said they would not be derailed by the Seoul attack and are due to go ahead for eight weeks as planned .
Mr Lippert, 42, has issued his own reaction to the incident which left him bleeding across a breakfast meeting table at a government arts centre across the street from the US embassy.
He is expected to stay in hospital for four days after receiving 80 stitches to a gash on his face and nerve damage to the wrist, but wrote in a tweet: “Doing well and in great spirits… Will be back ASAP to advance US-ROK [Republic of Korea] alliance!”
South Korean police are reportedly investigating whether the assailant, identified as 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong, had any ties to North Korea. Witnesses said he shouted a pro-unification slogan before slashing at the diplomat with a small fruit knife.
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