Seoul (AFP) - The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm by a blade-wielding assailant shouting anti-war slogans in an attack in Seoul Thursday, police and television reports said.
The United States strongly condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely as he was taken to hospital, and said that President Barack Obama had spoken with him.
"The President called (Lippert) to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery," said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman.
Witnesses said a man with a blade concealed in his right hand attacked Lippert as he was attending a breakfast function at the Sejong Cultural Institute in central Seoul.
Video footage in the immediate aftermath of the attack showed the ambassador being rushed out of the building holding one hand to his bleeding right cheek, and his other hand smeared with blood with an apparent wound to the wrist.
Lippert, 42, was bundled into a police car and rushed to hospital, where a US embassy spokesman said he was in a "stable" condition.
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Lippert's injuries were not life threatening.