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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Republic of Korea - January 2024

Knife attack on opposition leader raises security concerns

South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) was stabbed in the neck at a political event on 2 January in Busan. Lee sustained serious injuries, with the assailant quickly apprehended at the scene. The motive behind the attack was reportedly to prevent Lee from becoming president, amid a grudge that Lee was “not properly punished” in relation to delayed corruption charges. The incident occurs mere months before South Korea’s general election set for 10 April in which the DPK’s parliamentary majority is at stake. In subsequent weeks, lawmaker Bae Hyun-jin of the People Power Party was struck in the back of the head with a rock in Seoul. President Yoon Suk Yeol denounced the attacks as a threat to democracy and called for increased protection for politicians.

Sources: The Korean Herald (1), The New York Times, The Washington post, Anadolu Agency, The Korea Herald (2)

Primary categories and factors
Rule of Law -1 Rule of Law  (-1)
Personal Integrity and Security

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