SEOUL – Lee Jae-myung, a prominent South Korean political figure who heads the country's Liberal Democratic Party, was stabbed in the neck Tuesday morning during a visit to the site of a new airport in the southern port city of Busan, Yonhap News Agency reported. .
Video footage of the attack broadcast by South Korean broadcasters showed Lee surrounded by press and a small crowd when suddenly a man standing nearby appeared to strike Lee in the neck with a weapon. Lee collapsed and was bleeding before being taken to hospital. The attack occurred around 10:30 a.m., according to Yonhap.
Lee, 59, a prominent labor lawyer turned politician who heads South Korea's opposition Liberal Party, narrowly lost the 2022 presidential election to conservative Yoon Suk-yul of the People Power Party. He previously served as governor of Gyeonggi Province, around Seoul, from 2018 to 2021, as well as mayor of Seongnam from 2010 to 2018.
During his time in South Korea's highly polarized political sphere, Lee has been the subject of investigations into corporate donations and alleged corruption, with prosecutors and politicians unsuccessfully vying to arrest him at least twice in the past year.