South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-Myung stabbed in neck during Busan visit

Lee Jae-Myung stabbed in neck

New Delhi: South Korea’s main opposition leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck by an unidentified assailant on Tuesday, while he was visiting Busan, the country’s second-largest city. Lee, who heads the liberal Democratic Party, was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery, where his condition was reported to be critical but stable.

The attack occurred around 11:30 a.m. local time when Lee was touring a site proposed for a new airport on Gadeok Island, off the coast of Busan. Lee was surrounded by reporters and supporters when a man wearing a mask and a cap approached him and stabbed him with a knife. The attacker was immediately subdued by Lee’s security guards and arrested by the police.

The motive of the attack is still unclear, but some witnesses said the assailant shouted “Lee Jae-myung, die!” before stabbing him. The police are investigating the suspect’s identity and background, as well as the possibility of any political or personal grudges against Lee.

Lee, 59, is a prominent figure in South Korean politics, known for his outspoken and progressive views. He was the governor of Gyeonggi Province, the most populous region in the country, from 2018 to 2021. He ran for president in 2022, winning the party nomination, but narrowly losing to Yoon Suk-yeol, a former prosecutor and conservative candidate, in the general election. Lee was elected to the National Assembly in 2022 and became the leader of the Democratic Party in August 2022.

Lee has been a vocal critic of President Yoon’s policies, especially on the issues of economic inequality, social welfare, and inter-Korean relations. He has also faced several allegations of corruption and abuse of power, which he has denied as politically motivated. He was questioned by prosecutors in January 2023, over charges of embezzlement, bribery, and election law violations, but was not indicted.

Lee Jae-Myung stabbed in neck

The stabbing of Lee has shocked and saddened many South Koreans, who have expressed their support and prayers for his recovery. President Yoon condemned the attack as a “barbaric act of violence” and vowed to ensure a thorough investigation and punishment of the perpetrator. He also called Lee to express his sympathy and wish him a speedy recovery.

The incident has also raised concerns over the security of public figures and the social atmosphere in South Korea, which has been polarized by political and ideological conflicts. Some experts have called for more dialogue and cooperation among different parties and groups, to prevent further violence and hatred.