South Korean Politician Is Attacked in Seoul

South Korean Politician Is Attacked in Seoul

A South Korean lawmaker was attacked in Seoul and taken to a hospital on Thursday, the leader of her party said.

Bae Hyunjin, of the ruling People Power Party, is the second South Korean politician to be physically assaulted while in public in less than a month. She was being treated at Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Han Dong-hoon, the party leader, told reporters Thursday night.

“This is something that should never have happened,” he said, “and the truth needs to come out, and the culprit needs to be brought to justice.”

Ms. Bae, 40, a former anchorwoman for South Korean broadcaster MBC, is in her first term as a lawmaker. She was elected in 2020. She briefly served as a spokeswoman when the South Korean president, Yoon Suk Yeol, was president-elect after his election in 2022.

Physicians at the hospital where she was being treated told reporters that she suffered a laceration of about a centimeter, and that there was no significant bleeding or fractures.

The chief detective of the police station in Gangnam district, where the attack happened, could not be immediately reached.

On Jan. 2, a man stabbed Lee Jae-myung, the leader of South Korea’s main opposition party, in the neck as the politician made his way through a crowd. Mr. Lee was taken to the hospital and released about eight days later. The suspect, who said he was politically motivated, was arrested and expected to be charged with attempted murder.

In a statement on social media, Mr. Lee called Thursday’s episode “unbelievable” and said, “No political terrorism of any kind is acceptable.”

The attacks, just a few weeks apart against politicians on both sides of the political spectrum, could be an indication of the increasing divisions and rancor that have colored South Korean politics.

Physical attacks on politicians have been a rare occurrence in South Korea. The highest-profile incident was a 2006 attack on then-opposition leader Park Geun-hye, a conservative politician who later went on to win the presidency. She was slashed in the face by a man who was a fervent critic.

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