SEOUL, South Korea – Officials are weighing whether to boost diplomatic security in South Korea days after a knife-wielding attacker slashed the American ambassador, the injured U.S. envoy said on Tuesday as he was released from hospital.
The State Department would “take a hard look at our tactics, techniques and procedures here,” Ambassador Mark Lippert told reporters at Yonsei University's Severance Hospital.
“I should just say that by and large I’ve felt very, very safe in Seoul,” Lippert said after entering a packed press room sporting a soft cast around his left hand and another bandage over his right cheek.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The attack by an anti-U.S. activist left Lippert with nerve damage to his left hand and a 4-inch cut on his cheek that required 80 stitches.
"I feel pretty darn good, all things considered. I mean it was obviously a scary incident," Lippert added. "But I'm walking, talking, holding my baby, hugging my wife, so I just feel really good."
When asked by NBC News if he could describe what he had seen and experienced during the attack, Lippert declined to comment, saying he “needed to first talk to law enforcement officials.”
At a rally near City Hall, retired office worker Park Woon Il was one of hundreds who came out to a rally organized by South Korean ex-policemen in support of Lippert.
“I am here to celebrate Ambassador Lippert’s discharge from the hospital,” the 82-year-old told NBC News. “I believe our bilateral relationship will strengthen after this because of the support and love we are showing the ambassador.”
— Ed Flanagan