South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung is stabbed in the neck at a press conference in Busan

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina
  • The 59-year-old politician had been touring the construction site of a new airport on Gadeok Island when he was stabbed in neck 
  • Video shared on social media shows Lee walking through a gaggle of reporters when an unidentified man lunges at him with a knife
  • Lee, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, on Saturday rejected former party leader Lee Nak-yon’s call for his resignation 

The leader of South Korea’s opposition party was stabbed in the neck on Tuesday by a man who lunged at him during a press conference, sending him reeling to the ground as aides tried to stem the blood.

Graphic video shows Lee Jae-myung, a left-leaning 2022 presidential candidate, being attacked during a visit to the southern port city of Busan.

The attacker was immediately wrestled to the ground and arrested, but is yet to be named and no motive has been given. 

Lee, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, on Saturday rejected former party leader Lee Nak-yon’s call for his resignation.

The 59-year-old politician had been touring the construction site of a new airport on Gadeok Island, and was targeted during a question-and-answer session with reporters.

Lee was seen lying on the ground with his eyes closed and hands of other people around him pressing a handkerchief against the side of his neck.

Lee Jae-myung was pictured on the ground with a handkerchief covering the wound to his neck after the assault

The attack took place as the politician toured the construction site of a new airport in Busan on January 2 (pictured)

The attack took place as the politician toured the construction site of a new airport in Busan on January 2 (pictured)

Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party in South Korea, speaks during a meeting of the party's Supreme Council in December

Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party in South Korea, speaks during a meeting of the party’s Supreme Council in December

Lee has been taken to hospital.

Lee, a human rights lawyer, entered politics in 2005 and in 2010 became the mayor of Seongnam, the 10th-largest city in the country. 

He resigned in 2018 for a successful run for governor of Gyeonggi province – the most populous in the country, which encompasses the capital, Seoul. Seoul is administratively separately, however.

More than half of South Korea’s population live in Gyeonggi.

Lee ran for the presidency in 2022, and narrowly lost to to Yoon Suk-yeol, the current president.

He rose to prominence with an aggressive pandemic response, a populist economic agenda, and by touting an outsider image. 

Lee campaigned on a pledge of introducing a universal basic income of 1 million won ($800) per year to every individual, paid for through taxes on carbon emissions and a new, nationwide land ownership tax, under which homeowners would pay taxes on the land their homes occupy.

He favored warmer relations with North Korea, saying on the campaign trail that he would send envoys to the U.S. and Pyongyang to try and jumpstart diplomacy.

He said he wanted a roadmap of conditional sanctions relief and phased simultaneous action by North Korea, with a snapback mechanism under which sanctions would be restored if North Korea fails to follow through on denuclearization steps. 

More to follow… 

South KoreaDemocrats

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment

dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus dus