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"Knife shower of justice": North Korea's delighted response to attack on US ambassador

Mark Luppert required surgery and 80 stitches after the knife attack.
Mark Luppert required surgery and 80 stitches after the knife attack.
Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images

North Korea has reacted with glee to Thursday's knife attack on the US ambassador to South Korea, saying it was "deserved punishment" for America's "warmongering."

Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed with a knife at a breakfast event in Seoul by Kim Ki-jong, a radical member of a group seeking reunification between the two Koreas.

A dispatch from North Korean state news agency KCNA praised Kim for delivering a "knife shower of justice" to the American ambassador, according to South Korean news service Yonhap. The KCNA post was titled: "Deserved punishment for warmonger United States."

It's not at all unusual for Pyongyang's official mouthpiece to rail violently against America; the North Korean news agency habitually posts colorful dispatches threatening war on the US, vowing to unleash doom on its imperialist rabid dogs, etc.

Lippert said he was "doing well and in great spirits" after undergoing two and a half hours of surgery that required 80 stitches to his face.

Kim was wrestled to the ground after throwing himself at Lippert, and was arrested.

Police said after interrogating him that the attack was a protest against two joint exercises that the South Korean and US militaries are currently carrying out, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.

The drills are designed to boost capacities to deter threats from North Korea, but Kim is part of a niche group of anti-US Korean nationalists who believe such exercises are an obstacle to reunification between democratic South Korea and its northern Hermit Kingdom neighbor.

He reportedly shouted that the two Koreas should be unified and that he opposed "war exercises" as he hurled himself at Lippert.

Kim's extremist activities were well known to police — he tried to throw a lump of concrete at the Japanese ambassador to South Korea in 2010, and set himself on fire at another protest.