Lee Jae-myung: South Korea opposition leader stabbed in Busan.

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South Korea’s opposition leader Lee Jae myung

The leader of South Korea’s political opposition was stabbed at a news conference in the southern port city of Busan, Yonhap news agency reports.

Lee Jae-myung, who narrowly lost the presidential elections in 2022, was stabbed on the left side of his neck on Tuesday morning.

The male attacker was arrested at the scene.

Mr Lee was transferred to a hospital about 20 minutes after the attack. He was conscious at the time, Yonhap said.

The attacker appeared to be in his 50s or 60s, news reports said. He reportedly approached Mr Lee asking for an autograph, before suddenly lunging forward to stab him.

Videos of the attack posted on social media show Mr Lee first collapsing into the crowd and then onto the ground, while several people try to restrain the attacker. Photographs show Mr Lee lying on the ground with his eyes closed while someone presses a handkerchief to the side of his neck.

Mr Lee, 59, leads the Democratic Party of Korea. He is not currently a member of South Korea’s legislature but is widely expected to run for a seat in the next general election, which will take place in April 2024.

He lost the 2022 presidential elections with a 0.73% difference in votes to current President Yoon Suk-yeol, making it the closest presidential race in South Korean history. He is widely expected to stand in the next presidential elections in 2027.

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