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South Korean Man Who Slashed U.S. Ambassador Gets 12-Year Sentence

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, seen here greeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in May, was attacked during a breakfast function in March.

The South Korean man who attacked U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in Seoul six months ago has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Lippert, who had only recently taken the Korea post, received cuts to his face and hand but survived the attack by Kim Ki Jong.

Lippert, 42, was having breakfast at a performing arts center where he was to give a speech on relations between the U.S. and North Korea and South Korea when he was attacked. Kim was apprehended at the scene and later charged with attempted murder.

From Seoul, Haeryun Kang reports for our Newscast unit:

"Kim has been denying the charges. He said he was protesting against joint US-Korea military drills, which he described as 'war games.' He accused the drills of hampering peace talks between Seoul and Pyongyang.

"The Central District Court in Seoul said he had 'shown no repentance' and sentenced him to twelve years. The U.S. embassy in South Korea has yet to comment on the sentencing."

After the attack, Lippert spent nearly a week in a hospital before going back to work in South Korea, where he lives with his wife and child.

When he was released from the hospital, Lippert "thanked all the well-wishers from the U.S. and South Korea who reached out during his hospital stay," as NPR's Elise Hu reported.

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