Mark William Lippert (42), the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea who had been attacked by Ki-Jong Kim on Thursday morning (local time), is known to have a particular love for Korea. Lippert took office as the ambassador last October.
Before he was attacked, Lippert uploaded photos of his first Lunar New Year celebration in Seoul in his personal blog on March 3, and emphasized the importance of U.S. and South Korean relations.
In the post, Lippert mentioned that he is “shopping for [traditional Korean hanbok] for [himself], Robyn and Sejun now” as he “would like to participate the next time.”
"We also listened to a Korean stringed instrument quartet--or Gayageum—that played classic American songs like “My Way” and Korean pop music,” he continued. “It was really beautiful.”
Lippert also greeted Koreans during the previous New Year in Korean, and continually expressed his love for the Korean people. He also gave his newborn son, who was born this past January, the Korean middle name Sejun to remember the special times that he spent in Korea. His blog features posts both in Korean and English.
In February, Lippert posted that he was preparing to host several “high-level visitors” to Seoul, and expressed excitement in being able to introduce Korean culture to them. One such visitor was Antony Blinken, the Deputy Secretary of State.
“Tony … told me that he has heard a great deal about Korean food and wants to get out and eat some delicious Korean dishes and see a few cultural highlights while he is here,” Lippert wrote. “We’re looking forward to a very substantive and fun trip!”
On Christmas, Lippert approached those who were waiting in line for interviews to go to the U.S. with a Santa hat and donuts, showing his initiative in wanting to deepen cordial relationships between the U.S. and South Korea.
Lippert and his wife also stuck it out through the cold weather eating Korean friend chicken and watching Korean baseball at the stadium last November.
During college entrance exam season for high schoolers in South Korea last fall, Lippert posted a photo of himself with words of encouragement, saying such phrases as, “It’ll work out well!” and “Hwaiting!” which is a way Koreans wish each other good luck. In November, he personally attended the 2014 Kimchi Festival and participated in making kimchi along with the other attendees.
Meanwhile, soon after the attack, Lippert personally expressed that he is doing well, and he is dedicated to advancing the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea.
“Doing well&in great spirits! Robyn, Sejun, Grigsby & I – deeply moved by the support! Will be back ASAP to advance US-ROK alliance! Let’s move together!” he tweeted.
The South Korean president Geun-Hye Park expressed her outrage regarding the incident and said that the recent attack on Lippert was not only a physical attack on a person, but “an attack on U.S.-ROK relations,” and that she therefore will “not condone” such a behavior.
"I wish a speedy recovery for Lippert, and express my deepest consolation towards his family” and to “President Obama and the U.S. government,” she stated.