US Ambassador Released from Seoul Hospital

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, surrounded by security men, waves as he leaves Seoul's Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2015.The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, who was slashed in a knife attack last week, has been released from a Seoul hospital.

Ambassador Mark Lippert told reporters Tuesday he feels «pretty darn good, all things considered» and expects to make a full recovery.

«It was obviously a scary incident. But I’m walking, talking, holding my baby, hugging my wife, so I just feel really good. I’ve got a little rehab left to do on the arm. The face feels really good, but thanks to the great medical professionals, I feel, like I said, pretty darn good,» he said.

Lippert had to receive 80 stitches to close a wound on the right side of his face following the attack, which was carried out by a North Korea sympathizer.

The ambassador said his «love and affection» for South Korea was strengthened by the outpouring of support following the knife attack. He said he will return to work «very soon.»

The 42-year-old stressed that he felt «very, very safe» in Seoul, but added U.S. officials will «take a hard look» at security policies following the incident.

A South Korean activist who was opposed to U.S.-South Korea military drills slashed Lippert on the face and wrist last Thursday as the ambassador prepared to give a speech at a lecture hall in Seoul.

Authorities said Sunday that the suspect, 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong, faces possible attempted murder charges.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency responded to the attack by calling it «just punishment» and a valid «expression of resistance» to ongoing U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

Seoul police said the suspect had visited North Korea around seven times between 1999 and 2007. He has denied receiving any direction from North Korea.