S. Korean president labels attack on MP act of ‘terrorism’

S. Korean president labels attack on MP act of ‘terrorism’
S. Korean president labels attack on MP act of ‘terrorism’

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - People walk past a television screen showing a news broadcast with a file footage of lawmaker Bae Hyun-jin. — AFP pic

SEOUL, Jan 26 — South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has called an attack by a minor against a ruling party lawmaker this week an act of “terrorism”, his office said today.

Lawmaker Bae Hyun-jin, 40, was attacked yesterday by a minor who repeatedly struck her on the back of the head with a rock in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district.

She has since been hospitalised and is recovering, after medical staff used a stapler to perform two sutures to treat a non-life-threatening, one-centimetre scalp injury, according to doctors who treated her.

Police have identified the assailant as a 15-year-old minor, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, which reported he was ordered hospitalised for observation Friday morning.

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The attack came just weeks after opposition party leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in the neck while talking to reporters in the port city of Busan.

“The terrorism against politicians, who are representatives of the people, is no different from terrorism against the people,” Yoon said of the attack on Bae, according to senior presidential secretary for political affairs Han O-sub.

Yoon’s remarks come a day after both the ruling People Power Party and opposition Democratic Party characterised the incident as an act of “political terrorism.”

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South Korea is gearing up for a crucial election on April 10, in which President Yoon’s conservative party aims to regain a parliamentary majority for the first time since 2016.

Police have said the recent stabbing of the opposition leader Lee was meticulously planned by a well-prepared assailant who “wanted to prevent the politician from becoming president”.

Lee underwent surgery after he was stabbed on January 2 and returned to work about two weeks later. — AFP

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