North Korea calls attack on US diplomat 'deserved punishment'text_fields
Pyongyang: North Korea (DPRK) on Thursday called the knife attack on the US ambassador to South Korea earlier in the day a "deserved punishment", the official KCNA news agency reported.
"The recent case amid mounting anti-Americanism reflects the mindset of South Korean people censuring the US for bringing the danger of a war to the Korean Peninsula through the madcap sabre-rattling," Xinhua news agency quoted the KCNA report as saying.
US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was injured on Thursday morning in a knife attack by a South Korean male assailant who shouted opposition to the ongoing US-South Korea joint annual war games.
Lippert, who took office last year as the youngest envoy for his post, was slashed in his cheek and hand by a knife blade at about 7:40 a.m. when he was preparing for a lecture at a venue in Sejong Cultural Centre in central Seoul.
The White House has condemned the attack, saying President Barack Obama has called Lippert and wished him a speedy recovery. It was the first attack against a US ambassador to South Korea.
Pyongyang on Monday blasted the US-South Korea joint annual military drills that run from March 2 to April 24, calling the exercises codenamed "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle" "intolerable aggression moves."
On the same day, an unnamed spokesman for North Korea's General Staff of the Korean People's Army issued a statement, threatening to retaliate the military exercises with the "toughest measures" and saying North Korea's armed forces "are fully ready" to strike their designated targets.