The U.S. ambassador to South Korea was slashed by a knife wielding, screaming man, at a breakfast meeting in Seoul.


U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert after the attack /Getty Images Asia

According to the BBC, the attack left a gash on Mark Lippert's face that needed 80 stitches.   The 42 year old also had surgery on his arm to repair damage to tendons and nerves, and was in stable condition at the hospital.

About nine hours after the attack, Lippert posted on his Twitter account that he was "doing well and in great spirits" and would be back "ASAP" to advance the U.S.-South Korean alliance.

They did catch the attacker Kim Ki-jong apparently well-known among police. The attacker reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima.


Kim Ki-jong, the accused attacker is subdued before being arrested/Getty Images Asia


Kim told police that he attacked Lippert to protest annual U.S.-South Korean military drills that started Monday.  Kim said the drills, ruin efforts for reconciliation between the two Koreas.


The BBC story says U.S. ambassadors have security details, but their size largely depends on the threat level of the post. Seoul is not considered to be a particularly high threat post despite its proximity to the North Korean border. It's not clear how many guards Lippert had.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry said it was the first time a foreign ambassador stationed in modern South Korea had been injured in a violent attack.