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Knife-wielding man arrested after attack on U.S. ambassador

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked in Seoul on Thursday by a man wielding a 10-inch knife, who managed to slash his face and wrist before being wrestled to the ground.

Lippert, 42, was attending a breakfast meeting of the Sejong Cultural Institute in the center of the South Korean capital. He was taken to a hospital and received 80 stitches to his face.

The assailant, who identified himself at the scene as Kim Ki-jong after being subdued and arrested, was protesting joint U.S.-South Korea military drills, said Jongno Police Station chief Yun Myeong Seong at a televised briefing.

In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, the man identified as Kim Ki-jong is arrested at the site in Seoul where U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked on March 5, 2015. Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images

In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, the man identified as Kim Ki-jong is arrested at the site in Seoul where U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked on March 5, 2015. Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images

Kim reportedly said during the attack, “South and North Korea should be reunified.” The U.S.-South Korean military drills are viewed by North Korea and its allies as preparation for an invasion.

Lippert tweeted that he would be back in action soon:

The State Department issued a statement saying U.S. law enforcement is working with the Korean National Police on the incident. “The U.S.-ROK (Republic of Korea) alliance is strong; we will not be deterred by senseless acts of violence,” said the department’s deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

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