South Korean Opposition leader Lee Jae Myung attacked during visit to Busan

SEOUL/BUSAN, Jan 2: South Korean Opposition leader Lee Jae Myung was attacked during a visit to the southeastern port city of Busan on Tuesday and taken to a hospital while conscious, Yonhap news agency reported.

Lee, chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, was attacked on the left side of his neck by an unidentified man at 10.27 am during a question and answer session with reporters after touring the construction site of a new airport on Busan’s Gadeok Island.

Lee was transferred to Pusan National University Hospital approximately 20 minutes after the attack.

At the time of the transfer, Lee remained conscious, but the bleeding continued.

The male suspect, pretending to be one of Lee’s supporters, approached the politician asking for an autograph, and then attacked with an unidentified weapon approximately 20-30 centimetres in length, according to eyewitnesses.

He was arrested at the scene.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed deep concern over Lee’s safety and ordered the police and relevant authorities to swiftly determine the facts and make every effort to quickly transport Lee to a hospital and provide him treatment, according to his spokesperson Kim Soo Kyung.

Yoon also stressed that such violence should never be tolerated under any circumstances, Kim said.