The man accused of stabbing the U.S. ambassador to South Korea in the face with a paring knife six months ago was convicted of attempted murder on Friday and sentenced to 12 years, CNN reports.
The assault by Kim Ki-jong, 56, at a breakfast event to advocate for the peaceful reunification between North and South Korea, left Mark Lippert needing 80 stitches for a gash on his face from his right cheekbone to his lower jaw.
“We have made it our mission to be open and friendly, and that will not change,” Lippert said at a news conference when he left hospital in March.
At the time, President Park Geun-hye called the incident “intolerable,” likening it to an assault on the South Korean–U.S. military alliance itself. But North Korea applauded the stabbing, calling it a “knife attack of justice.”
Lippert’s assailant has a history of violent attacks on diplomats, having been arrested in 2010 for attacking the Japanese ambassador with a block of concrete.
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