Six months after a South Korean man attacked U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in Seoul, a court has sentenced Kim Ki Jong to 12 years in prison. Lippert, who had only recently taken the Korea post, survived the attack with cuts to his face and hand.
Lippert, 42, was eating breakfast and preparing to give a speech on relations between the U.S. and North and South Korea at a performing arts center when he was attacked. Kim was apprehended at the scene and was later charged with attempted murder.
From Seoul, Haeryun Kang reports for our Newscast unit:
“Kim has been denying the charges. He said he was protesting against joint US-Korea military drills, which he described as ‘war games.’ He accused the drills of hampering peace talks between Seoul and Pyongyang.
The Central District Court in Seoul said he had ‘shown no repentance’ and sentenced him to twelve years. The U.S. embassy in South Korea has yet to comment on the sentencing.”
After the attack, Lippert spent nearly a week in a hospital before going back to work in South Korea, where he lives with his wife and child.
When he was released from the hospital, Lippert “thanked all the well-wishers from the U.S. and South Korea who reached out during his hospital stay,” as NPR’s Elise Hu reported.