Seoul, Jan 3 (EFE).- South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung is in stable condition while recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital where he underwent surgery after being stabbed in the neck during a public appearance, party sources said Wednesday.
“Lee is in the ICU and only his family is authorized to visit him,” Democratic Party Spokesman Park Sung-joon said in statements reported by the Yonhap agency news agency following the Tuesday attack.
The doctors at Seoul National University Hospital who operated on him have not held a press conference on Lee’s health, and party members are in charge of updating the media on the politician’s condition.
Representatives of the liberal party said the operation to reconstruct Lee’s jugular, which was affected by the stab wound, and remove blood clots took longer than expected but was completed with apparent success.
The incident occurred at a public event in the city of Busan, 350 kilometers southeast of Seoul, when the attacker, a 66-year-old man surnamed Kim, pounced on Lee and stabbed him with a knife about 17 centimeters in length on the left side of the neck.
Lee was treated urgently first in Busan to stop the bleeding and then transferred by helicopter to the South Korean capital to undergo surgery.
Kim, arrested on the spot, told police he attacked the politician with the intention of killing him, although his exact motivations and affiliations are currently unknown.
Busan police said Wednesday that they plan to seek a warrant to formally arrest Kim, possibly charging him with attempted murder.
Agents also revealed circumstantial evidence that would point to premeditation in Kim’s actions, who modified a camping knife he purchased online to attack Lee.
It is also known that Kim attended another public event in Busan on Dec. 13 and apparently tried to approach him without success.
A court in Busan issued an order so that Kim’s home and office can be searched. EFE