Korean jailed for attacking US envoy

Seoul, Sep 11 (IANS) A court here on Friday handed down a 12-year-prison term to a 55-year-old man who attacked the top US envoy to South Korea earlier this year, the media reported.

The Seoul Central District Court found Kim Ki-jong, who was accused of attacking Ambassador Mark Lippert with a knife at a breakfast function in Seoul on March 5, guilty of attempted murder, violence against a foreign envoy and business obstruction, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The attack left the ambassador with deep gashes on his face and arm that needed more than 80 stitches.

“Kim seems to have had a strong will to attack the victim, choosing a knife to repeatedly slash the part of the body that had a direct connection with life,” Judge Kim Dong-ah said.

Prosecutors earlier said that Kim attacked the envoy following North Korea’s accusation that South Korea-US joint military exercises are war rehearsals for an attack against Pyongyang, adding that books and other materials confiscated from Kim’s home support North Korea’s strategy to communise South Korea.

“While some of the defendant’s arguments coincide with that of the North, such as opposing the military exercises, they are ideas that have been often claimed by the academic circles and civic groups in the country,” Judge Kim said, adding the claim does not pose a direct threat to the country.

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