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The U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Has Left Hospital 5 Days After a Knife Attack

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The U.S. ambassador to South Korea was discharged from a hospital in Seoul on Tuesday, less than a week after being slashed in the face with a knife by a Korean nationalist.

Ambassador Mark Lippert said he would not forgo the approachable demeanor he has become known for despite the attack, Reuters reported.

“We have made it our mission to be open and friendly, and that will not change,” Lippert said at a news conference following his exit from the hospital.

The 42-year-old ambassador was left with a punctured wrist and a deep cut on his face, which required him to get 80 stitches.

His assailant, Kim Ki-jong, has a history of violent attacks on diplomats, having been arrested in 2010 for attacking the Japanese ambassador with a block of concrete. The potential charges against the 55-year-old attacker, who said he was protesting last week’s U.S.–South Korea joint military drills, include attempted murder.

“I feel pretty darn good, all things considered,” said Lippert, adding that he hopes to be back at work after recovering fully. “I mean, it was obviously a scary incident. But I’m walking, talking, holding my baby, hugging my wife, so I just feel really good.”

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com