South Korean police have begun a probe into the man who carried out Thursday’s knife attack on the US ambassador to Seoul, with investigators focusing on the assailant’s frequent past trips to North Korea.
A senior official said investigators have sought a formal detention warrant against Kim Ki-Jong, 55, as they probe any possible links he might have had with North Korea.
“We are investigating whether there is any connection between the suspect’s visits to North Korea and the crime committed against the US ambassador,” Reuters quoted Yoon Myeong-seong, chief of police in Seoul’s central Jongno district, as saying.
Authorities have established that Kim made seven visits to North Korea between 1999 and 2007.
US envoy Mark Lippert needed 80 stitches after his face was slashed at a forum in Seoul yesterday. Experts were discussing the issue of Korean unification at the forum.
After carrying out the attack and being subdued by the police, Kim said he was protesting against annual US-South Korean military exercises that began this week.
According to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, Kim planted trees near the city of Kaesong, just across the border, during his visits to North Korea.
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