March 10, 2015 10:02
President Park Geun-hye paid a visit to U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, who is in hospital after an attack by a knife-wielding extremist in Seoul last week. Park arrived in Seoul on Monday morning following a tour of the Persian Gulf and headed straight to Severance Hospital to see the U.S. envoy.
It is unprecedented for a Korean president to visit a foreign ambassador in hospital and the move demonstrates how seriously Park is taking the attack.
Park told Lippert that both Korea and the U.S. were "greatly moved" by his courageous response to the attack and felt that Seoul-Washington ties were further strengthened due to the incident.
Park told Lippert about her experience being attacked by an assailant back in 2006 when she was the head of the then Grand National Party and had to receive 60 stitches on her face during almost three hours of surgery at the same hospital. She said she was “pained“ by the thought of Lippert undergoing a similar experience.
Park added that she realized how lucky she was and felt that she must spend the rest of her life for Korea. Park said she hopes Lippert will contribute to strengthening the Seoul-Washington alliance.
Lippert said he believes it is fate that made both of them undergo similar incidents and vowed to try his best to further strengthen the bilateral alliance. He added that the doctors at Severance were able to gain valuable experience in treating his deep facial wound after treating Park back in 2006.
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